Voting has now closed for the CS Awards 2018.

Thank you to everyone who voted, the response from the industry has been fantastic.

Your winners have been picked and will be announced on 10th April 2018 after the first day of CS International Conference.

If you have not already registered for the CS International Conference, make sure you book your place here -

Substrates and Materials Award

Great substrates and high-quality materials are key ingredients for making state-of-the-art devices. This award aims to showcase breakthroughs in this field, such as increases in the size or crystal quality of substrates, the unveiling of new materials, and the introduction of precursors with greater levels of purity.

1400 V GaN-on-Silicon Epiwafers ALLOS Semiconductors

A team from IEMN research institute in France has made devices and conducted measurements on two different GaN-on-Si epiwafer products supplied by ALLOS Semiconductors of Germany. One is a prototype of ALLOS’ upcoming product specifically designed for 1200 V device applications. With this epiwafer IEMN achieved over 1400 V for vertical and 1600 V for lateral (grounded) breakdown. The other epiwafer established product for 600 V applications which equally showed very high breakdown voltages of 1200 V and more for both lateral and vertical measurements.

GF125 Series Brook Instruments

To truly control any process, you must precisely measure what is happening — in the feedline, in the chamber, at every point — then use that information in real time to keep the process precisely on-target and productive.The flagship GF125 is a second generation multi-variable, pressure transient insensitive mass flow controller. This product builds upon Brooks' leadership position in pressure transient insensitive (PTI) mass flow controller technology, minimizing process gas flow variation due to pressure and temperature fluctuations. The GF125 enables customers to simplify and reduce the size and cost of gas panels by eliminating the need for point of use pressure regulators, pressure transducers, and associated hardware.

200 MM GaN on-QST Substrates Kyma Technologies

Kyma Technologies has used its new K200 hydride vapour phase epitaxy (HVPE) growth tool to produce high quality 200mm diameter GaN on QST (Qromis Substrate Technology) templates.The 200mm diameter HVPE GaN on QST templates, which consists of 10 microns of HVPE GaN grown on a 5 micron MOCVD GaN on QST wafer provided by Qromis. X-ray diffraction rocking curve line-widths for the templates fall in the range of 250 and 330 arc-sec for the symmetric {002) and asymmetric {102} XRD peaks, respectively, which is consistent with high structural quality. Low wafer bow (~50 microns) and smooth surface morphology suggest these materials should support high performance device manufacturing.

150 MM SiC Substrates Norstel AB

Last year Norstel announced the successful development of low defect density 150 mm SiC n-type substrates. With a micropipe density (MPD) below 0.2 cm-2 and a Threading Screw Dislocation (TSD) density below 500 cm-2. This is the company’s first 150 mm conductive 4H SiC substrates.

SiC Epiwafer Sumitomo Electric

Last October Sumitomo Electric started mass production of a high quality SiC-based epitaxial wafer product. The EpiEra wafer is said to offer an industry-leading 99 percent defect-free area (DFA), eliminating surface defects and Basal Plane Dislocations (BPD) to improve quality stability and reliability. One of the keys to the low defect density is the company's multi-parameter and zone (MPZ) control technology. MPZ adjusts various parameters depending on the area and time zone using simulation and monitoring techniques. Parameters include temperature, pressure, and gas reactions.

Metrology Award

Measurements of substrates, epiwafers and devices are essential to manufacturing. This is needed to unveil problems with processes, ensure high yields and enable the delivery of products complying with specifications. This award will be contested by companies that offer specialist measurement services; and manufacturers of metrology equipment that either offer a new insight into materials, or set a new benchmark for the time taken for material characterisation.

Fast-Loop Characterization for GaN Power IMS Chips

IMS CHIPS has developed a Fast-Loop Characterization methodology for providing a rapid feedback correlation between GaN epitaxial Wafer properties and electron device characteristics, thus dramatically shortening the developing cycle GaN epitaxial wafer development for power applications. In only 2-4 weeks HEMT test devices, their electrical characterization and an extensive report with recommendations are provided to customers.

Zeta Optical Profiler for Patterned Sapphire Substrate Metrology KLA-Tencor Corporation

With rising demand for LED chips for a wide range of applications, including general lighting, backlighting and displays, the use of patterned sapphire substrates (PSS) has climbed in recent years due to the significant increase in light extraction efficiency these wafers afford. Process control challenges for LED manufacturers using PSS wafers such as diffuse surface reflectivity and cone shapes with high slopes require optically efficient metrology with high light throughput. The Zeta Optical Profiler was designed to solve these challenges. The Zeta Optical Profiler is a fully automated optical profiler for bump height, roughness, etch depth, film thickness and wafer bow applications. Proprietary ZDot™ technology is used for automated macro defect inspection of patterned sapphire substrate (PSS) wafers to find missing PSS structures, bridging, tear out and contamination. Process-critical metrology measurements of the cones, domes and pillars as well as the height, pitch and the diameter of PSS bumps can also be made. Once defects are detected, the system automatically scans the defects of interest and provides high-resolution images. Multiple broadband white light high-brightness LED light sources enable simultaneous acquisition of surface metrology data and substrate color information. ZDot optical profiling technology overcomes the disadvantages of white light interferometry with a high light throughput optical design that is impervious to vibration and sample tilt—key benefits in working with PSS wafers.Before the introduction of the Zeta Optical Profiler, PSS size and height measurements were performed using either scanning electron microscope (SEM) or atomic force microscope (AFM) metrology—both slow, inefficient and costly approaches. The Zeta Optical Profiler offers a unique, non-contact, non-destructive, high throughput and low-cost approach. The ZDot optics and unique algorithms provide a complete set of inspection and metrology solutions for both dry-etch and wet-etch PSS. The 100µm² inspection area is much larger than the 10µm² or smaller area that an AFM or SEM can inspect, allowing users to collect statistical information from hundreds of bumps in one quick scan—typically in less than 30 seconds. By comparison, AFM or SEM can take several minutes to scan one site. Additionally, the Zeta Optical Profiler can identify process variations down to 20nm changes in height, a critical parameter for PSS wafer quality.Since its introduction, the Zeta Optical Profiler has become the tool of record for PSS manufacturers around the world. The low-cost of ownership—due to the absence of consumables such as AFM probe tips—greatly reduces long-term costs for customers, and its speed and non-contact features enable PSS manufacturers to monitor their processes with many more data points and real-time feedback, significantly improving quality control.Editors comment "Patterned sapphire is now a key ingredient in the majority of LEDs. It's great that there is tool that can quickly measure all the key properties of these wafers."

UVISEL Plus-Modular Ellipsometer Horiba Scientific

European Test Lab for Power Components Rohm Semiconductor

Rohm Semiconductor established a new 'Power Lab' at its European HQ facilities at the Willich-Münchheide location near Dusseldorf. The 300m² lab's purpose is the analysis of power components and systems to provide the customers with the best support at the application level. To that end, the test lab is equipped with several test benches with a separate high voltage area.

High-volume Manufacturing Award

Compound semiconductor chips − in the form of lasers, LEDs, solar cells, and power and RF devices – are having an impact in all our lives because they are produced in high-volumes at acceptable prices.This award will highlight the biggest successes in high-volume manufacture, including the tools and fabs delivering very high throughput with high yields, and milestones in product manufacture.

Beneq C2 Beneq Oy

Beneq C2 is the automated wafer solution in Beneq’s Cluster-compatible equipment portfolio. It offers a unique combination of high capacity batch ALD processing and standard cassette-to-cassette automation.Beneq C2 provides an optimal solution for high performance ALD on wafers in industrial applications, such as optical coatings, insulators and barriers, and high-volume manufacturing of wafer coatings in the semiconductor and MEMS industry. The new product has been designed with special focus on emerging More than Moore semiconductor markets, such as Power and RF devices, RF and Piezoelectric MEMS, MEMS sensors and actuators, image Sensors, LED and OLED. The thermal batch ALD process of Beneq C2 is ideal for oxide and nitride processes used for dielectric, conductor, barrier and passivation purposes. The new automated cluster solutions have been designed for industrial ALD applications where high capacity is needed. The number of wafers that can be processes with the new tool is massive compared to traditional ALD equipment. It brings both the speed and operation costs of Atomic Layer Deposition to a completely new level that makes full-blown wafer ALD production finally possible.

150 million wafers Monocrystal, Inc

Last year, Monocrystal, a Russian maker of synthetic sapphire growing and processing, announced the shipment of its 150-millionth two-inch equivalent (TIE) product.Since its incorporation in 1999, the company has transformed from a niche sapphire market player into a well-established high-volume manufacturer. According to the company’s estimates, every third LED and every tenth solar module in the world is made with Monocrystal products. Historically more than 60 percent out of 150 million TIE have been large diameter wafers and ingots for LED. Recently there has been increasing demand for 6-inch wafers from major LED manufacturers.

Ramping GaN Chip Capacity with TSMC And Amkor Navitas Semiconductor

Navitas Semiconductor, a GaN power IC supplier, signed major manufacturing partnerships with TSMC and Amkor. TSMC provides an advanced GaN-on-Silicon wafer manufacturing capability for the proprietary Navitas GaN power IC platform. Amkor is one of the industry’s largest providers of outsourced semiconductor assembly and test services. Navitas GaN power ICs integrate power, analogue and digital circuits all in GaN. Breakthrough performance is said to be achieved using standard processes and equipment which allows for fast and capital-efficient expansion of manufacturing capacity.

200 MM GaN-on-Silicon Micro-LED Wafers Veeco And Allos

Veeco Instruments and ALLOS Semiconductors formed a strategic initiative to demonstrate 200mm GaN-on-silicon wafers for Blue/Green micro-LED production. Veeco teamed up with ALLOS to transfer their proprietary epitaxy technology onto the Propel Single-Wafer MOCVD System to enable micro-LED production on existing silicon production lines.

Device Design and Packaging Award

The hallmarks of a great product include an optimally designed chip, housed in a package that propels performance to a new level. This award is open to any company contributing to the manufacture of commercial, packaged chips delivering ground-breaking performance.

Co-Packaging Platform for Electronics and Optics POET

POET’s co-packaging electronics and optics in a single Multi-Chip Module (MCM) is based on its previously announced Dielectric Waveguide technology. POET’s Optical Interposer provides the ability to run electrical and optical interconnections side-by-side on the same interposer chip at a micrometre scale.The company believes its Optical Interposer Platform targeting 100G transceiver applications is readily scalable to 200G and 400G transceiver products with minimal incremental cost. Importantly, the scalable architecture (in reach and speed) of this innovative platform has the potential to provide POET with a highly differentiated competitive advantage in leading-edge data communication transceiver products.The platform technology is applicable to both GaAs and InP based optical components. Optical engines for single mode transceiver modules represent the initial high-volume application for POET’s Optical Interposers.

All-SiC Modules for High Voltage Applications Wolfspeed

With funding assistance from PowerAmerica, Wolfspeed developed first-of-its-kind SiC power modules for 3.3 kV and 10 kV applications. According to the company, this is the first SiC power module at these voltage levels to use exclusively the MOSFET built-in body diode as the anti-parallel rectifier. A built-in diode has numerous advantages over an external and additional diode device. The built-in diode or 'body diode' design maximises the performance of SiC MOSFET modules by freeing up space in the power module, allowing for more power capability and therefore increased performance in a smaller space. It also makes assembling a power module easier, boosting long-term reliability and optimising costs.

Deep UV LEDs Have Highest Output Power Dowa Electronic Materials

Dowa Electronics Materials successfully developed a deep ultraviolet LED chip, with an output power of 90mW, with a peak wavelength of 310 nm, and dimensions of 1 mm × 1 mm.Deep ultraviolet lights with a wavelength of 310 nm are used for curing and skin therapy. Replacing conventional mercury and excimer lamps with these LEDs enables equipment to be smaller and mercury-free. With the advantages of long life time and power saving, this product is expected to find new applications. Combining a high-quality AlN template with unique crystal growth technology, Dowa has been prepared for a mass production for deep ultraviolet LED chips, which boast the world’s highest output power in the disinfection wavelength of 280 nm.

Innovation Award

It is the great ideas of today that can shape the technology of tomorrow. This award celebrates the success of researchers that are inventing new types of device, or taking existing devices to breath-taking performance levels.

Sekidenko MXE High-Speed Pyrometer Advanced Energy

The Sekidenko MXE High-Speed Pyrometer is a high-speed measurement for precise control in dynamic processes, by Advanced Energy – the global leader in innovative power and control technologies for high-growth, precision power solutions for thin films processes and industrial applications. The product combines speed and precision, enabling accurate, non-contact, repeatable measurement and control of demanding applications. Its high-speed (up to 10 kHz) performance is ideal for processes with moving targets, such as rotating susceptors. It is also extremely well suited for dynamic processes, including laser-based processing or rapid anneals. For easy integration and flexible control options, the MXE unit is remarkably compact and supports a variety of I/O protocols.

Trimming Losses in GaN Gate Injection Transistors utilizing Bulk GaN Substrates Panasonic Corporation

GaN-based normally-off Gate Injection Transistors (GITs) with p-type gate over AlGaN/GaN heterojunction are fabricated on bulk GaN substrates. Thickness of insulating GaN buffer layer is increased up to 16 µm for the presented device from 5 µm for conventional GITs on silicon. The thick buffer reduces the parasitic output capacitances, which enables fast turn-off switching. The thick buffer and the use of bulk GaN substrate help to improve the crystal quality of AlGaN/GaN so that the sheet resistance is reduced. Improved crystal quality together with reduced trap density successfully suppresses the current collapse up to 1 kV or higher of the applied drain voltage. The resultant RonQoss (Ron: on-state resistance, Qoss: output charge) as a figure-of-merit for high speed turn-off switching is reduced down to 940 mΩnC that is one third from that of GITs on silicon. The resultant turn-off dVds/dt reaches as large as 285 V/ns that is twice higher than reported values by GITs on silicon.

Mobile Wi-Fi iFEM Qorvo

Qorvo’s RF Fusion mobile Wi-Fi integrated front-end module (iFEM) is the industry’s first fully integrated solution. Powered by Qorvo’s bulk acoustic wave (BAW) 5 filter technology, the RF Fusion mobile Wi-Fi iFEMs solve challenges caused by LTE and Wi-Fi coexistence. The solution also includes 5 GHz band performance, and enables smartphone manufacturers to keep up with increased demand and size reductions. Multiple leading smartphone manufacturers have selected Qorvo RF Fusion mobile Wi-Fi iFEMs for flagship and premium tier smartphone launches, reflecting broad and growing adoption of the solution.

GENxcel R&D MBE System Veeco

The GENxcel RD MBE system is a revolutionary new system designed specifically for compound semiconductor RD and pilot production markets. The GENxcel produces high quality epitaxial layers on substrates up to 100mm diameter for a wide variety of applications and materials including GaAs, InP, nitrides, and oxides. With an innovative architectural concept, the GENxcel system records a number of industry firsts. With an innovative architectural concept, the GENxcel system records a number of industry firsts. It is the first MBE system designed specifically for integrating multiple epitaxial techniques. This gives the ability to transfer wafers in-situ from the MBE system to other processes such as atomic layer deposition (ALD) providing the opportunity for novel compound semiconductor research. It is also the first MBE system designed with EtherCAT protocol, improving ease-of-use and reliability while also allowing easier serviceability. All of these features have been incorporated in the systems efficient single frame design that combines all vacuum hardware and on-board electronics to make it up to 40% smaller than other 100mm wafer MBE systems, saving valuable laboratory space.

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