CASCADE MICROTECH, INC. and sUss Microtec aG have pursued a strategic alliance to address the growing device complexities of emerging semiconductor technologies. the two companies hope to bring innovative approaches to three-dimensional (3d) through-silicon-via (tsV) manufacturing processes. Both firms expect to use their associations with leading research organizations like iMeC as well as industry partnerships to gain insight into this cutting-edge methodology, which is driving beyond Moore's Law. Further collaboration with device and reliability experts would allow the alliance to address the complexities and interactions of semiconductor bonding and test probing for next-generation semiconductor devices.

since the 1960s, the lithographic scaling of chipsoften referred to as Moore's Lawhas enabled semiconductor companies to exponentially increase chip speed, functionality, and complexity while reducing cost. as companies drive transistor dimensions below 32 nm, the performance and cost improvements of chip scaling become less favorable. in addition, interconnects increasingly limit any performance gains. to address these interconnect bottlenecks, emerging 3d methodologies stack one or more chips or wafers to route between layers. Many view the adoption of 3d tsV as the pinnacle of 3d integration, as it promises to provide higher performance, reduced noise, a smaller device form factor, and modularity in construction at potentially lower cost.

"sUss Microtec shares Cascade Microtech's commitment to develop the most advanced technologies for the continued improvement of semiconductor technologies," says Frank P. averdung, President and Ceo of sUss Microtec aG. "the comprehensive knowledge of the two companies will enable both companies to better address the issues inherent in 3d integration."

"our proposed strategic alliance with sUss Microtec would reinforce Cascade Microtech's commitment to develop practical solutions for leadingedge technologies that increasingly rely on new structures for continued performance improvement," explains F. Paul Carlson, Chairman and Ceo of Cascade Microtech. "We look forward to collaborating with sUss Microtec on innovative ways to characterize and evaluate new design methodologies and manufacturing processes, which will benefit our common customers, as well as the industries we serve."