Semiconductors – reticle masking unit
Single-source partner for a key module in every wafer stepper
Every wafer stepper, from a well know semiconductor technology giant from the Netherlands, features a reticle masking unit (REMA) assembled by Frencken. This module is strategically critical, and is entrusted to Frencken as a single-source supplier, who not only assembles it, but also manages the supply chain and provides lifecycle support.
Partners in design
As the absolute market leader in electron-beam wafer steppers for high volume production of integrated circuits, our customer is constantly pushing the envelope of this technology – and the technologies that will supersede it. It takes considerable financial and human resources to do this, so the company partners with specialized suppliers when it comes to turning their leading-edge technologies into machines for series production. Outsourcing frees their resources for innovation in the core business, and Frencken has been a partner supplier since the beginning. Our customer places extremely high demands on outsourced assemblies and modules in terms of reproducibility, precision, quality, robustness and logistics.
Working at nanometer feature levels
The REMA is positioned in a wafer stepper between the wafer being exposed and the light source, and its function is analogous to the aperture diaphragm in a conventional camera – although the demands on positional accuracy and precision are many, many times higher. It moves very rapidly in extremely small steps, typically experiencing forces of up to 10 G so it requires a company with experience and expertise in working at these nanometer feature levels. The REMA is now in its fifth generation, and Frencken has incrementally improved the design in key performance parameters, including materials, serviceability, uptime and throughput.
Frencken is responsible for:
- Mechanical design (design for manufacture)
- Assembly and test
- Supply chain management (custom product on-demand)
- Lifecycle management (incremental improvement, service and repair)
- Expertise in precision positioning
- Reliability as a supplier
- Cleanroom and vacuum chamber production facilities