Opportunities beyond CMOS: Manufacturing Solutions for Growing MEMS, LED and Printed Electronics Markets

Opportunities beyond CMOS: Manufacturing Solutions for Growing MEMS, LED and Printed Electronics Markets

 By Paula Doe, SEMI Emerging Markets

SEMICON West again features programs on manufacturing technology solutions to enable the next round of growth for MEMS, LEDs and printed/flexible electronics markets

MEMS: Growing the Sector to $20 Billion and Beyond

The booming demand for MEMS sensors in smart phones and tablets drove 17 percent growth for MEMS devices in 2011, to pass the $10 billion mark, and the sector can expect strong double-digit growth to continue, driving sales to $20 billion by 2017, according to Yole Développement.  Various other futurists have an even bigger vision of a $50 billion market of networked sensors everywhere.

That’s turning the once artisanal niche into a high-volume production business, and frankly creating a mismatch between the typical three-year MEMS development cycles and the one-year — at most — cycles of the consumer electronics industry.  It’s also bringing rapid technology change, with a sharp scaling down of die size, increasing integration of multiple sensors into combination units, bringing more packaging value to the wafer level, and increasing emphasis on software that turns the sensor data into a complete function that’s easy for the customer to use.

Added value of the packaging shifts at the wafer level 

More inertial MEMS integration will shift to the wafer level.  (Source: Yole Developpement)

“2011 has been the year of the transition of the MEMS market into big business with wide diffusion,” says Jean-Christophe Eloy, Yole CEO and founder. “But there is still a long road to grow a $100 billion business. Integration is still complex for system manufacturers, delaying fast market adoption. The ability of MEMS manufacturers to simplify the system integration work will directly impact the growth of MEMS business. A strong collective push of MEMS companies has to be applied to create a MEMS ecosystem in order to simplify the integration of MEMS into larger systems and modules.”

SEMI is expanding the SEMICON West MEMS program to a full day this year, with the cooperation of the MEMS Industry Group. Industry leaders from across the value chain have been invited to discuss the future of the MEMS industry at this transition point, and how the sector can take growth to the next level. Speakers so far include Vijay Ullal, Maxim Integrated Products group president, Consumer and Automotive Solutions, who will outline his vision of the big potential for adding MEMS sensing to IC processing. Yole’s Eloy will outline his view of the future growth of MEMS and what the industry will need to do to make it happen. Hanking Electronics’ Doug Sparks, EVP of Development, will talk about this ambitious new Chinese IDM’s aggressive investment plans for low-cost production for the fast-growing Chinese market. Micralyne’s CEO Nancy Fares will give a specialty foundry’s view on accelerating development with standard processes.

On more specific manufacturing technology issues, we have experts from Applied Materials talking about next generation etch technology and other equipment issues, Coventor discussing developments in simulation software with potential for speeding time to market, and SEMATECH speaking on some industry solutions for keeping old 200mm tools running at high volumes for the long term.

There will also be a packaging program focused on MEMS and sensor packaging technology.

LED Manufacturing: Update on Disruptive Technologies and Ways to Improve Yields to Enable the Lighting Market

The LED sector’s explosive growth from converting LCD TVs and displays to LED backlights has slowed sharply, and demand for general LED lighting has yet to take off, leaving an approximately $8 billion HB-LED market in 2011.  But IMS Research projects LED units for lighting will jump by 1500 percent, and revenues by 300 percent over the next five years —presuming of course that costs drop drastically.

Just how is the industry going to jump the gap to create this volume solid-state lighting industry? This year we have invited speakers to address potential solutions for improving crucial manufacturing yields, and to update on the status of some of the potentially disruptive technologies that could help drive down costs to enable this lighting market.

Speakers so far include Cree’s Mike Watson and Seoul Semiconductor’s Brian Wilcox, who will give their company’s views of the disruptive technologies that will matter and what’s needed next to enable the volume lighting market. Everlight Electronics’ Ilkan Cokgor will talk about the potential solutions on the packaging side.  Eric Kim, CEO of Soraa, will talk about his company’s work and the potential for GaN-on-GaN, while Bo Lu of Lattice Power updates on his company’s production on GaN-on-Si, and   Eric Virey of Yole Developpement will examine the broader status and potential of GaN-on-Si in the industry. Jed Dorscheimer, Canaccord Genuity, will look at the potential for improving yields to enable volume adoption by 2013-2014. EVG’s Thomas Uhrmann will talk about major improvements in light extraction from nano patterned sapphire substrates.

The SEMI Chemical and Gas Manufacturing Group also plans a session on next generation electronic materials, and that session will include a talk on future LED materials by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute professor Christian Wetzel.

LED standards committees will also meet to continue work on basic 6-inch sapphire wafer parameters, carrier and software interface issues for automation, and questions of which substrate defects matter most for yield.

Printed/Flexible Electronics: Update on OLED lighting and Display Technology, and Solutions for Systems Integration

Printed electronics technology has made major progress in the last few years but creating an entirely new industry from zero has been difficult. The sector needed to develop not only an infrastructure of materials and process equipment to make components, but also integrate these components into systems, and find applications that took advantage of the technology’s low cost or flexibility, but perhaps limited performance.

But real products are starting to appear — that integrate printing or solution processed technology into electronic systems where unique features matter, whether in aircraft skins that sense and report damage, or packaging that includes anti-theft circuitry. This year SEMI is   inviting speakers with solutions that we think matter for potentially large markets, particularly for the large-area OLED display and lighting markets, and for integrating components on flexible substrates.

IMEC’s Serge Biesemans, VP of Wafer Technologies and Smart Systems, will give an overview on the state of OLED and flexible display technologies, while Takuya Komoda, Panasonic’s research director, Core Technologies Development Center, will update on the progress in manufacturing OLED lighting, reporting 130lm/W and 1000cd/m2 performance with new process tool designs.  Printed electronics industry veteran Devin MacKenzie will talk about Imprint Energy’s printed batteries, and its work integrating this power source with the printed memory from ThinFilm Electronics, printed logic from PARC, and printed displays from Acreo, for entirely printed functional systems. Brian Elolampi, senior product engineer from MC10 will talk about that company’s technology for an alternative solution for integration — mounting semiconductor die on flexible substrates.

For more information on SEMICON West, visit www.semiconwest.org.



April 3, 2012