OEM Group Expands Wafer Surface Preparation for LED Automotive Lighting Manufacturers

Global semiconductor capital equipment manufacturer OEM Group announced today it has received first-in-fab and repeat tool orders for its Cintillio™ wet chemical processing system from several leading Ultra Bright LED manufacturers working in the automotive lighting market.  With these orders, OEM Group has now successfully expanded its production proven and patented ECO-Process wafer surface preparation solutions from the established markets of Power Device, CMOS IC, and MEMS manufacturing into UBLED fabrication, a new market for Cintillio™.  The tools will be used for ozone processing of some of the most sensitive layers exposed during LED manufacturing, including exposed silver, which to date has presented LED makers with difficult challenges where surface preparation is involved.

Along with novel ozone processes optimized for exposed Ag, OEM Group's ECO-Processes provide LED customers with significant reductions in chemical waste disposal and DI water consumption, greatly improving Cost of Ownership for wafer surface preparation. By taking the original Semitool® wet chemical processing technology in this new direction, OEM Group has again demonstrated how it benefits customers by applying its focus on creating innovative and sustaining solutions for emerging technologies, including technology for the Internet of Things.

According to LED Journal, LEDs are eco-friendly light sources that provide high power efficiency in automotive applications, contributing to improved fuel efficiency by reducing electrical power consumption. As a result, the EU has officially recognized LED headlamps as being an energy-efficient technology, resulting in the notable adoption of UBLED headlamps by European automobile manufacturers.

 

The market research firm LEDInside expects continued significant growth in the automotive LED segment, particularly in Daytime Running Lights, High/Low headlamp beams, and fog light applications, with a compound annual growth rate of 48% forecast from 2014 to 2018.

And McKinsey & Company notes in a recent report that LED adoption can be accelerated by applying best practices in manufacturing, including increased automation levels and "lean" manufacturing methods, as OEM Group now offers for the LED market with Cintillio.  The repeat and first-in-fab orders from major UBLED manufacturers in Asia and Europe reflect the confidence OEM Group's customers have in these surface preparation processes and reinforces the value proposition benefits they bring.

"It is a testament to the development work on ozone processing over sensitive layers, such as Ag, carried out by our process development group based in Coopersburg, PA, that we are seeing traction and growth in the UBLED market. This work has enabled us to provide process solutions not only for UBLED FEOL applications, but also throughout the entire UBLED process flow," said Paul Inman, Business Development, Chemical Process Technology, OEM Group.

"The ability to reduce DI water consumption by up to 85%, and the virtual elimination of chemistry and related disposal costs, are factors leading to a marked increase in interest in the ECO-Processes, especially in areas suffering severe water shortages" added Graham Pye, CPT Product Manager at OEM Group.

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