Intelligent Machinery

Next Generation PCB and Advanced Packaging Industry
High Precision Maskless Lithography System

Principal Investigator:Chun-Ying Wu, Ph.D.
Abstract

Photolithography plays a dominant role in global high-technology industry and has been widely used in semiconductors fabrication, IC packaging, printed circuit boards (PCB), etc. The core technology in photolithography is UV exposure of fine patterns. In recent years, maskless lithography UV exposure systems are emerging quickly and are gradually replacing conventional UV exposure methods. However, maskless UV exposure systems on the market are all dominated by foreign companies. In this research project, we will develop the first maskless lithography system in Taiwan to support her IC industry. The performance of this maskless lithography system will surpass the current existing ones by adopting a new type of spatially filtered UV spot array and obliquely scanning approach. Based on this research works, we will pave the way not only to the market of maskless lithography systems but also to further development and applications of advanced lithography technology.   

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Team Introduction 

This research team has been studies maskless lithography and related technical topics for three years (2014~2017). Based on our previous research results and experience, and with new inputs from two research institutes (ITRI and MIRDC), this project aims at developing a high-resolution maskless lithography system with a smallest patterning linewidth down to 5~10 μm. To fulfill this goal, the team members consist of members from academia (NCKU, NTUST), industry research institute (ITRI, MIRDC), and two companies with expertise on system manufacturing, development, and integration. Furthermore, this project also brings one leading company in PCB/IC-substrate as the beta-site testing companies for evaluating the performance of our maskless lithography system.  

Goals and Plan
Entry Barrier 

Maskless lithography systems are highly multi-disciplinary covering many areas including precision motion control, optical system design and development, digital electronic with embedded chips, image and digital data processing, and software development. This is why so far no Taiwan company has committed to this important task. Based out previous researches, we will:

    1. Develop key components and techniques required for a new type of high-resolution maskless UV exposure system.
    2. Produce a prototype maskless lithography system with 100% domestic technology autonomy.
    3. Carry out on-site and in-line evaluation of the maskless lithography system for high-level PCB and IC substrate manufacturing.
    4. Establish a start-up company and providing the worldwide IC electronics industries with a new, advanced, and cost-effective choice of maskless lithography systems for high-end production of PCBs, substrates, and IC packaging.
Market Scope 

Widespread adoption of maskless lithography systems in IC industry has been seen since 10 years ago, and now the trend is speeding up. This is particularly true for high-end PCB companies with higher added values and advanced IC packaging industry. For PCB industry in Taiwan alone, the annual market sale of maskless lithography systems are around US$ 2 billion/year. Globally speaking, the estimated market sale per year will up to US$ 2 billion. By the end of this project at year 2019, we will expect to hold a market share of 4~6% for the first few years, which can bring in a revenue about US$ 200~300 million/year, and an annual growth rate of 10%.

Video Introduction