DISCO Corporation has developed a new ABC (Auto Blade Changer) that can automatically replace hubless blades as an optional function, and it is currently available for purchase. This function is planned to be exhibited at SEMICON Japan 2023 (December 13 – 15, Tokyo Big Sight).
Dicing saws were originally developed to singulate fully-manufactured semiconductor wafers, but in recent years, dicing saws are also being used in applications such as package dicing following resin molding (QFN packages, etc.), passive component dicing such as condensers and inductors, and dicing optical parts that use glass.
When dicing silicon wafers, the blade used is called a hub blade, and it is attached to an aluminum hub. The Auto Blade Changer (ABC), an automatic replacement function for these hub blades, was developed and has been sold by DISCO since 2005, and has contributed to the improved productivity of the dicing process and the reduction of human errors.
However, manual replacement by an operator was necessary to replace hubless blades that are widely used in applications such as package dicing as mentioned above. This newly developed ABC supports both hubless and hub blades, enabling automatic replacement regardless of the blade type.
The new ABC supports blade replacement of both hubless and hub blades.
- Improves operation rates
- Reduces downtime caused by waiting for the operator
- Prevents human error
- Reads the blade ID using a QR code, and automatically fills in values such as the blade exposure
- Contributes to traceability
- Records the blade lot ID used
The new ABC can currently be installed in the following three equipment models.
DFD6342：A facing dual spindle dicing saw that supports Φ200 mm wafers
DFD6561：A facing dual spindle dicing saw that supports Φ300 mm wafers
DFD6755：A facing dual spindle dicing saw with two chuck tables specialized for package dicing
Original – DISCO
- Improves operation rates
DISCO Corporation has made a decision to build a new building at the Haneda R&D Center (Higashi Kojiya, Ota-ku). Construction will begin in April 2025 and is scheduled for completion at the end of March 2027. With the construction of the new building, DISCO aims to further enhance its R&D functions, enabling it to respond to the future needs of the semiconductor and electronic component markets.
The existing buildings, which were acquired in March 2022, were originally designed and built by a previous owner for training flight crews and as a data center. As these buildings have a relatively large amount of floor space with high load-bearing capacity, they were put into use as a development site upon the fitting of utilities such as water supply, drainage, and compressed air.
However, with the recent increase in development, DISCO has decided to construct a new building with an increased amount of floor space suitable for development. This new building will be constructed such that it can be expanded if more floor space for development becomes necessary.
Two of the seven existing buildings will be demolished to make room for the new building. The five remaining buildings will continue to be used with the purpose of R&D, as well as enhancing DISCO’s production system during periods of high demand.
Original – DISCO
DISCO Corporation opened a new mid-process research center on July 1, 2023.
As the wafers on which circuits are built in the front-end process of semiconductor manufacturing have extremely high added-value, high yield is required in the processes that follow. Among these processes, in the grinding (wafer thinning) and dicing (wafer singulation through cutting) processes handled by DISCO, there is a risk that one processing failure may cause the entire wafer’s quality to deteriorate.
Therefore, caution and accuracy are required for operations such as processing and transfer in particular. In addition, if a large number of defects occur in the back-end process, most of the time, alternative wafers cannot immediately be supplied from the front-end process. As a result, this may have a significant impact on the entire supply chain and become a large issue in the lean manufacturing of the automotive industry.
Recognizing these issues, DISCO has newly positioned these processes that are conventionally in the back-end process of semiconductor manufacturing as part of the “mid-process,” and has been proceeding with R&D in this area.
DISCO has officially established the mid-process research center as a site to conduct R&D for the mid-process and perform demonstrations for customers. This center has permanent installations of the wafer transfer system RoofWay as well as the cluster system MUSUBI, and research is underway to reduce the equipment operator’s responsibilities and improve semiconductor wafer processing and transfer quality through automation of the production system.
As semiconductor use in automotive applications is increasing, stricter quality management is being required for semiconductors as well, as they are responsible for the user’s life. Therefore, through this center, DISCO will aim at realizing a production system that eliminates operator intervention as much as possible in order to reduce quality variation that arises from human involvement.
The mid-process research center is a facility that makes verification of unmmaned processes possible by connecting a series of processes with a fully automatic transfer robot. The processes include thinning using a grinder, singulation using dicing saws and laser saws, and pickup, inspection, and measurement of die.
The mid-process research center has been partially open since December 2021, and during the time until the official opening, DISCO has been improving the level of the system by incorporating the valuable opinions of some of the invited customers. Now, as some time has passed from when the category of COVID-19 was downgraded and reclassified as a level 5 infectious disease, DISCO felt that it was finally possible to proactively welcome visitors to the center, and thus decided to make an official announcement for the opening of the center.
Original – DISCO