Yole’s Analysis of Hybrid Bonding IP

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Yole Developpement publishes "Hybrid Bonding: Patent Landscape Analysis" report:

"Generally, 2.5D-3D stacking was achieved thanks to Through Silicon Via (TSV) technology. However, TSVs are large and using them limits efforts to reach very dense architectures. Furthermore, filling TSVs with metals is complex and requires significant know how. To overcome these limitations, players have started to look at other solutions. A first step toward a new way of 3D stacking is ZiBond, developed by Ziptronix, a company founded in 2000 as a spin-out of Research Triangle Institute. ZiBond is an enhanced version of direct oxide bonding that involves wafer-to-wafer processing at low temperatures, from 150-300°C, to initiate high bond strengths, rivaling silicon. The next step was to combine the dielectric bond with embedded metal to simultaneously bond wafers or bond dies to wafers and form the interconnects. ZiBond is the dielectric bond that forms the basis for direct bonding interconnect (DBI) technology developed in 2005. Tessera, now called Xperi, acquired Ziptronix in 2015 and ZiBond and DBI were integrated in the Invensas subsidiary’s portfolio. This hybrid bonding technology is quickly becoming recognized as the preferred permanent bonding path to form high-density interconnects in heterogeneous integration applications, from 2D enhanced, to 3D stacking with or without TSVs, as well as MEMS.

After entering the CMOS Image Sensor (CIS) market in 2016, hybrid bonding technology has started to be investigated by other industries, such as memory. However, the hybrid bonding market’s growth follows Xperi’s developments. The company has adopted an aggressive strategy to assert its patents. Yet in parallel with the market and Xperi’s growth, some other players, like YMTC, Sony, Samsung and TSMC, have developed their own patent portfolios and strategies and are on the edge of releasing their first products using hybrid bonding processes. Understanding the IP landscape is becoming key to evaluate the risks and opportunities that go with the development and use of hybrid bonding technology.

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