Paul van Gerven
22 October

Thanks to booming mobile end-markets, BE Semiconductor (Besi) reported a solid third quarter. The equipment maker based in Duiven saw revenue and net income reach 108.3 million and 34 million euros, respectively, which represent increases of 20.7 and 77.1 percent versus the same period last year. Orders are up too, by 15.5 percent, again thanks to new mobile product introductions and 5G capabilities. Besi also announced a partnership with Applied Materials for the development of die-based hybrid bonding solutions.

Looking ahead, Besi’s CEO Richard Blickman is “encouraged about the longer-term prospects in the next investment cycle given our strong performance during the last industry downturn and the current pandemic and by strong secular growth drivers. As chip functionality, complexity and density increase and geometries shrink, Besi’s advanced packaging solutions are ever more important to customers.”

Credit: Besi

“As such, we’re increasing our engagement with leading mobile, memory and logic players to expand our addressable market. In particular, we see significant market opportunities from the current 5G roll-out and initial orders from global memory producers for high-volume, high-accuracy flip-chip systems versus traditional wire bonding solutions,” Blickman continued.

Along with the quarterly results, Besi announced it entered into a development agreement with Applied Materials. The companies will work together on equipment for die-based hybrid bonding, an emerging chip-to-chip interconnect technology that enables chip and subsystem designs for applications including high-performance computing, AI and 5G.

Hybrid bonding connects multiple chiplets in die form using direct, copper interconnects. This technique enables designers to bring chiplets of various process nodes and technologies into closer physical and electrical proximity so that they perform as well as or better than if they were made on a single large, monolithic die. Hybrid bonding is considered to be a major improvement over conventional chip packaging because it permits increased chip density and shortens the lengths of the interconnect wiring between chiplets, thereby improving overall performance, power, efficiency and cost.

A complete die-based hybrid bonding equipment solution requires a broad suite of semiconductor manufacturing technologies along with high-speed and extremely precise chiplet placement technology. To achieve this, Besi’s and Applied’ joint development program brings together Applied’s semiconductor front-end process expertise in etch, planarization, deposition, wafer cleaning, metrology, inspection and particle defect control with Besi’s back-end expertise in die placement, interconnect and assembly solutions.