Silicon wafer suppliers utilize more than 50 different types of semiconductor equipment, from the moment highly pure silicon crystals are grown to produce wafers to the time-integrated circuits are assembled, tested, and shipped to customers. The process of fabricating integrated circuits is so intricated thus the need for many types of equipment. The equipment used in semiconductor manufacturing can be categorized into three types: wafer fabrication, assembly, and test or back-end equipment. In this article, we will discuss the common equipment used for semiconductor manufacturing.
Wafer fabrication equipment comes in various shapes and sizes, but most specialize in growing crystals, and in depositing or removing materials from a wafer. Examples of wafer fabrication equipment are diffusion systems, ion implantation equipment, oxidation systems, epitaxial reactors, physical and chemical vapor deposition systems, etching equipment, and photolithography equipment. These equipment are responsible for removing and depositing materials on and from the wafer until a circuit is completely constructed on the wafer.
After silicon wafer suppliers have manufactured wafers and constructed a circuit on the wafer, assembly equipment is utilized to pack them into finished products that are ready for use in various applications. Examples of assembly equipment are wafer saw equipment, die to attach machines, wafer saw equipment, die overcoat systems, molding equipment, metal can welders, DTFS machines, lead finish equipment, hermetic sealing equipment, wire bonders, and more.
Once the devices have been assembled, it needs to go through testing to ensure quality and that only good devices reach customers worldwide. Testing equipment examples are the following: electrical testers, automatic test equipment, tape, and reel equipment, burn-in ovens, retention bake ovens, UV erase equipment and vacuum sealers.
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