These excerpts taken from the ASYS 10-K filed Dec 10, 2008.
SOLAR AND SEMICONDUCTOR EQUIPMENT SEGMENT PRODUCTS
Our furnace and automation equipment is manufactured in our facilities in The Netherlands, France, and Massachusetts. The following paragraphs describe the products that comprise our solar and semiconductor equipment segment:
Horizontal Diffusion Furnaces. Through our subsidiaries, Tempress and Bruce Technologies, we produce and sell horizontal diffusion furnaces. Our horizontal furnaces currently address several steps in the semiconductor manufacturing process, including diffusion (step 5 in the semiconductor manufacturing process previously described), phosphorus tetrachloride doping, or POCl3 (step 6), low-pressure chemical vapor deposition, or LPCVD, (step 7), and annealing (step 13). Our horizontal furnaces also currently address diffusion and applying antireflective coating in the solar cell manufacturing process (steps 3 and 5).
Our horizontal furnaces generally consist of three large modules: the load station where the loading of the wafers occurs; the furnace section, which is comprised of one to four reactor chambers; and the gas distribution cabinet where the flow of gases into the reactor chambers is controlled, and often customized to meet the requirements of a customers particular processes. The horizontal furnaces utilize existing industry technology and are sold primarily to customers who do not require the advanced automation of, or cannot justify the higher expense of, vertical furnaces for some or all of their diffusion processes. Our models are capable of processing all currently existing wafer sizes.
Automation Products Solar. Our automation technology products are used in several of the semiconductor manufacturing steps and the diffusion processing step in solar cell manufacturing. Our automation equipment includes mass wafer transfer systems, sorters, long-boat transfer systems, load station elevators, buffers and conveyers. We use a vacuum technology for our solar wafer transfer systems designed to ensure high throughput.
Automation Products Semiconductor. Use of our automation products reduces human handling and, therefore, reduces exposure of wafers to particle sources during the loading and unloading of the process tubes and protects operators from heat and chemical fumes. Since the top reactor chamber of a horizontal furnace is as much as eight feet from the floor on which the operator stands when manually loading wafer boats, and typical boats of 150mm to 300mm wafers weigh three to six pounds, automating the wafer loading and unloading of a diffusion furnace improves employee safety and ergonomics in silicon wafer, solar cell and semiconductor manufacturing facilities.
E-300. Our most cost effective automation product is the E-300. This product is most suitable for the lower cost semiconductor devices, such as diodes and power management chips. The E-300 operates like an elevator and
generally is used to raise wafer boats loaded with up to 300 wafers to one or both of the upper two reactor chambers of a diffusion furnace.
S-300. Our patented S-300 model provides a very efficient method of automatically transporting a full batch of up to 300 wafers to the designated tube level and automatically placing them directly onto the cantilever loader of a diffusion furnace at one time. This product is suitable for the production of nearly all semiconductors manufactured using a horizontal furnace. The S-300 can be used in conjunction with all current wafer sizes and is particularly well suited for manufacturers of 300mm wafers.
Small Batch Vertical Furnace. Our small batch, two-tube vertical furnace was developed internally with the active support from a large semiconductor manufacturer and long-term customer. The specifications for this furnace include a two-tube vertical furnace for wafer sizes of up to 200mm, with each tube having a small flat zone capable of processing 25-50 wafers per run. The market for vertical furnaces is much larger than the total of all the other markets we currently serve. We are initially targeting niche applications, including research and development, while we continue to develop additional processes, since the competition in the large batch vertical furnace market is intense and our competitors are much larger and have substantially greater financial resources, processing knowledge and advanced technology.
Conveyor Furnace. We produce conveyor furnaces used to manufacture thick films for the electronics industry. Conveyor furnaces provide for precision thermal processing of electronic parts for thick film applications, including annealing, sealing, soldering, silvering, curling, brazing, alloying, glass-metal sealing and component packaging.
SOLAR AND SEMICONDUCTOR EQUIPMENT
Our furnace and automation equipment is
Horizontal Diffusion Furnaces.
Our horizontal furnaces generally
Automation Products Solar.
E-300. Our most cost effective automation product is the E-300. This product is
generally is used to raise wafer boats
S-300. Our patented S-300 model provides a very efficient method of
Small Batch Vertical Furnace.
RELATED TOPICS for ASYS: