EV Group (EVG), a leading supplier of wafer-bonding and lithography equipment for the advanced semiconductor and packaging, MEMS, silicon-on-insulator (SOI) and emerging nanotechnology markets, today announced that it has filed a patent infringement lawsuit in federal court of New York against the 3M Company ("3M"). The complaint alleges that 3M has infringed upon a U.S. Patent through the marketing and sale of the 3M Wafer Support System, which is used in the production of silicon wafers. The complaint seeks damages to compensate EVG for 3M's wrongful infringement and an injunction against 3M from all future infringement of the Patent.
DI Erich Thallner, president of EVG, notes, "EVG's success depends on the protection of our intellectual property. When a company infringes on our rights, we have a responsibility to protect the tremendous investments we've made in research and development on behalf of our customers, suppliers and employees. To this end, we will vigorously protect our arsenal of technology innovation from those who we feel are competing unfairly through legal recourse, if necessary, as is the case here."
Semiconductor wafer manufacturing typically involves hundreds of discrete operations on the surface of a silicon wafer, which are performed over a number of weeks. In order to minimize wafer breakage and damage, which can easily occur during this lengthy manufacturing process, the base wafers are typically 700- to 800-microns thick. Stacked die packages require significantly reduced final wafer thickness in order not to create unacceptably tall packages. The more dies that can be packaged in a stack, the better. The device claimed in the patent enables silicon wafers to be thinned to less than 50 microns with standard back grinding equipment, which means that a greater number of dies can be stacked-providing greater performance without an increase in height.