SEMI HB-LED Standards Committee Formed; Call for Participants

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SEMI HB-LED Standards Committee Formed; Call for Participants

Manufacturing Standards Will Help LED Industry Reduce Costs and Accelerate Market Penetration

The overall market for high-brightness (HB) light-emitting diodes (LEDs) will grow 68 percent this year to reach $9.1 billion, with projections of doubling in size to $18.4 billion by 2014, according to industry analysts at Strategies in Light. This high-growth phase is driven primarily by LED TVs, displays, mobile phones, and other portable devices. However, the next growth phase of HB-LEDs will result from increasing demand for solid-state lighting where significant cost reductions will be required to replace conventional lighting sources. Industry analysts expect a 10- to 20-fold decrease in costs over the next five years to achieve rapid penetration of solid-state lighting into commercial and residential lighting applications.

To reach those aggressive cost targets, key stakeholders in the industry have initiated the SEMI HB-LED Standards Committee, which will develop manufacturing standards to eliminate unnecessary costs, and better enable equipment and process innovation. SEMI announced the new HB-LED Standards Committee on November 17. The Committee met for the first time on November 11 and initiated standards Task Forces on wafers, carriers, assembly and automation. Committee co-chairs are: Iain Black (Philips Lumileds), Chris Moore (Semilab), Sunil Phatak (Rubicon), and Bill Quinn (Veeco).

The Committee and Task Forces are comprised of industry leaders in HB-LED devices, sapphire wafers, MOCVD wafer processing, and key equipment and materials suppliers to the LED industry. Companies represented at the inaugural meeting included: Aixtron, Applied Materials, Brewer Science, Brooks Automation, Cimetrix, Entegris, Matheson, Kulicke & Soffa, Oxford Instruments, Rudolph Technologies, Philips Lumileds, and Veeco, as well as ITRI and NIST.

Call for Task Force Members

The HB-LED Standards Committee Task Forces will discuss and develop manufacturing standards for HB-LEDs. If your company is involved in manufacturing HB-LEDs, this is your opportunity to get involved and participate in developing the standards that will affect your company. For more information, contact Paul Trio at

Wafer Task Force

Unlike silicon wafers used in semiconductor manufacturing, there currently are no industry standards addressing wafer geometries, surface characteristics, wafer ID, wafer orientation, and other features, resulting in costly proliferation of varying wafer types and styles. The objective of this Task Force will be to analyze and develop wafer standards that will reduce the proliferation of varying wafer types on the market — thereby reducing costs and enabling manufacturers to focus on true product and process innovation.

While silicon wafers could also be addressed in the future, the task force will initially focus on sapphire wafers. When discussing wafer sizes, some committee members stated that standardization would be difficult as too many variations for 2-inch wafers exist. With regard to 4-inch wafers, while some automation companies would like to start at this size, others pointed out that standardization will be difficult since 4-inch wafers are already in production. The committee agreed that developing standards for 6-inch (150 mm diameter) wafers will have a greater impact. The committee also recognized that timing is important as there will be less impact if the standard is delayed.

The committee also identified features that the task force will need to consider: wafer thickness, orientation flat vs. notch; edge profile; wafer ID. Some members also suggested that wafer quality metrics be considered, as there currently is no consensus for sapphire

Participating companies for the SEMI Standards HB-LED Wafer Task Force include: Veeco (Bill Quinn), Philips (Andy Quinn, appointed by Iain Black), Oxford Instruments (Stuart Mitchell, Mark Dineen), Rubicon (Sunil Phatak, TF leader proposed by Win Baylies), Applied Materials (James Moyne), BayTech Group (Win Baylies), and BW & Associates (Bevan Wu).

Carrier Task Force

Wafer carrier standards will enable lower cost, higher precision, and more productive wafer handling, shipping, and processing. The Task Force is expected to develop standards for shipping carriers (used to ship the virgin wafers from the wafer supplier to the customer), automation carriers (carries the wafers through the automated tools), and process carriers (used to carry wafers into and from process tools; may be subjected to aggressive environments (chemical, liquid, thermal)).

Some committee members stated that standard carriers can be used but slot thickness and spacing will be important parameters to discuss. Defining the substrate first is critical. The committee discussed the different types of wafers and carriers used: raw wafers/carriers from raw material supplier; GaN wafers/carriers for processed wafers used in the fab. The task force also may consider carriers for wafer shipping. The committee also identified the issues that the task force will need to consider like bowed wafers, other interfaces (to the tool, etc.), task force scope (e.g., include end effectors?). These considerations are important when establishing the “vision” on what the package will look like.

Participating companies for the SEMI Standards HB-LED Carrier Task Force include: Entegris (Jeff Felipe, TF leader), Brooks Automation (Daniel Babbs), Aixtron (Karl-Heinz Buechel), Oxford Instruments (Stuart Mitchell, Mark Dineen), Aixtron (Karl-Heinz Buechel), Veeco (Joe Kraus), and Philips (to be appointed by Iain Black).

Automation Task Force

The objective of the Automation Task Force is to analyze and develop industry standards that allow low-cost, common hardware and software interfaces, and other means to enable HB-LED factories to effectively utilize multiple equipment types from multiple vendors in a highly automated and integrated fashion.

The committee will address automation and integration – automating metrology with the equipment. The committee recognized that applying existing SEMI Standards (e.g., 300 mm Generic Equipment Model) can help accelerate automation. This approach was effective for the PV Standards Committee where it leveraged existing SEMI Standards to develop PV-specific specifications.

However, committee members reported that some customers are not familiar with software interface tools (SEMI E5, E30, etc.) and that currently wafers are manually loaded and information is collected directly from the tool. The committee also raised the following topics that it would like the task force to consider: how wafers are introduced to reactors; TF scope (e.g., include mechanical interface?).

Participating companies for the SEMI Standards HB-LED Automation Task Force include: Brooks Automation (Daniel Babbs, TF leader), Rudolph Technologies (Eduardo Basurto), Aixtron (Karl-Heinz Buechel, Johannes Lindner), Cimetrix (Brian Rubow), and Ghiselli Consulting (Jack Ghiselli). AIS Automation (Friedemann Fincke) has also volunteered to participate in the task force since the November 11 committee meeting.

Since discussions between carriers and automation are closely related, task force leaders are currently considering a proposal to combine the Carrier Task Force and the Automation Task Force into one managing task force with separate working groups formed for carriers and automation.

Assembly Task Force

Currently, wire bonding and other assembly steps are highly varied depending on the unique optical, thermal, and electrical requirements of today’s advanced lighting applications— resulting in higher costs and lower throughput. The objective of the Assembly Task Force is to examine industry standards — relating to issues like machine vision, device orientation, handling interface, and other areas — that will enable lower-cost, higher-throughput assembly while recognizing diversity of component types in a typical HB-LED manufacturing environment.

Some committee members expressed interest in defining strip carriers as currently no standards are available. Back-end assembly is considered a major component in LED manufacturing. Physical attributes of die-level conductor elements need to be optimized for pick-and-place and other assembly systems, employing automatic pattern recognition used in HB-LED manufacturing. The scope of this task force needs further definition.

Participating companies for the SEMI Standards HB-LED Assembly Task Force include: Kulicke & Soffa (Paul Reid, TF leader), Philips Lumileds (to be appointed by Iain Black), and BayTech Group (Win Baylies).

Next HB-LED Standards Committee Meeting

The next SEMI HB-LED Standards meeting will be held in conjunction with the Strategies in Light Conference (February 22-24, 2011) at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California. The meeting date will be finalized soon.

For additional information on the HB-LED Standards Committee or how to join the Committee, please contact Paul Trio at

Upcoming LED Events

If you are interested in showcasing your technology, upcoming SEMI LED events include: LED Korea (January 26-28), LED Manufacturing Pavilion and Forum at SEMICON China 2011 (March 15-17), and Extreme Electronics LED Manufacturing at SEMICON West 2011 (July12-14).

SEMI International Standards

The SEMI International Standards Program, established in 1973, covers all aspects of micro- and nano-manufacturing, from wafer manufacturing to test, assembly and packaging, in the semiconductor, display, PV, MEMS/MST and related industries (now including HB-LED). Currently, there are over 800 SEMI Standards and Safety Guidelines available. More than 3,000 industry experts worldwide participate in the program, which is made up of 23 global technical committees. Visit for further details about SEMI Standards. Participation in SEMI International Standards is free to all industry stakeholders.

December 7, 2010