Trade Resources Industry Views SEMICON West Expanded Its Global Manufacturing Capabilities

SEMICON West Expanded Its Global Manufacturing Capabilities

At the SEMICON West 2013 event in San Francisco (9-11 July), Luxembourg-registered synthetic diamond materials firm Element Six (a member of the De Beers Family of Companies) has announced that it has expanded its global manufacturing capabilities for microwave chemical vapor deposition (CVD) synthetic diamond by 60% compared to last year. Driven by growth in the firm's semiconductor and optical business segments, Element Six has effectively ramped production capacity to meet emerging demand for thermal management solutions including gallium nitride (GaN)-on-diamond substrates and high-power-resistant optical windows for extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography systems.  

"Our bookings have seen a 30% increase in compound annual growth over the last two years, and we attribute the majority of our expansion to new applications in the semiconductor market," says Adrian Wilson, head of the technologies division. "We are seeing more interest from packaging designers and manufacturers as the industry comes to recognize the numerous properties and benefits of synthetic diamond, which offer our customers a distinct competitive advantage to further differentiate and strengthen their solutions."

Element Six has expanded its high-volume manufacturing capabilities across its facilities in Silicon Valley, California, USA and Ascot, UK (with the latter already serving as the world's largest CVD diamond manufacturing site). The three key areas of production supported at the built-out sites include:

CVD diamond thermal material — delivering thermal conductivity of 1000-2000W/mK, synthetic diamond is integrated into semiconductor modules to serve as an effective heat spreader — driving to more than a 20 degree temperature decrease to quadruple a device's lifetime. Synthetic diamond optical windows — an enabler for laser-produced plasma (LPP) EUV lithography system, Element Six's large CVD synthetic diamond optical windows (71-80mm in diameter) withstand the power levels necessary to produce EUV light (reducing system downtime and improving wafer throughput). GaN-on-diamond wafers — one of the most thermally conductive materials, GaN on free-standing polycrystalline CVD diamond is up to five times more conductive than copper at room temperature (enabling rapid, efficient and cost-effective heat extraction that lowers operating temperature and overall system level costs, and increases the power of RF devices).

Element Six says that, to consolidate and strengthen its innovation capabilities, it has also opened a new Global Innovation Centre (GIC) in Harwell, near Oxford, UK. Building on the firm's 50 years of R&D heritage, the GIC should enable Element Six to rapidly design, manufacture and test market-ready solutions in one location.

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Element Six Expands Microwave CVD Synthetic Diamond Manufacturing Capacity by 60%