In the TSV (Through Silicon Via) area, which was commercialized by large semiconductor manufacturers, a small equipment maker mounted a challenge with its own technology and succeeded in localizing the TSV equipment. Considering that only a handful of equipment makers commercialized the next-generation memory technology, this challenge from a small company with sales ranging between KRW10 billion and KRW20 billion is extraordinary.

Costech System (CEO Bae Joon-ho) developed a plasma-type descum system that removes organic matters before the formation of the bumping ball in the flip chip (FC) chip scale package (CSP) and TSV process, and exported it to Taiwan and China. The company also became the first in Korea to localize the TBDB (Temporary bonding & debonding), used in the TSV 3D packaging process, and began to supply it for the LED.

Founded back in 2000, Costech System is a small equipment manufacturer which generated KRW21.2 billion in sales last year. It has been specializing in the supply of the vacuum cluster tool, the core component of the deposition equipment. It developed the TBDB technology in 2010, and has acquired a number of patents and developed equipment. In a market dominated by Japanese and European equipment makers like EVG, SVSS and Tokyo Electron, this company became the first to localize TSV.

TSV is a technology for stacking thin DRAM chips vertically, making a hole in them, and connecting them with electrodes. To remove the wafer after making a chip on a thin wafer, it attaches a temporary wafer and then goes through tens of processes. When the chip is taken off finally, there should be no air layer or scratch. So TBDB is very important.

Costech System developed TBDB equipment that can be applied to 2, 4 and 6-inch LED equipment, and is looking for buyers. At the end of last year, the company won the government R&D project, i.e. the ‘TBDB development for 8-inch or larger LED’ project, and will develop it in the next three years. It can be applied not only to the LED, but also to memories.

The newly developed descum equipment began to generate sales. Last year it exported it to a Chinese semiconductor packaging company, and recently received an additional order. It is planning to gradually increase buyers by exporting it to Taiwan this year.

In the descum equipment market, Costech System competes with large overseas companies like Ulvac and Mattson and a local equipment maker PSK. To quickly make inroads into this area, the company acquired the patents of Japan’s FOI back in 2013.

“Our strength is that, as we apply our own patented technology, which minimizes the contact between ion and the wafer, not the existing method of using microwave to apply ion directly to the wafer, the wafer is very even and has few particles,” said Bae Joon-ho. “As it consumes little power and generates little heat, and has excellent quality, our descum equipment technology is the world’s No. 1.”

“We have been totally committed to R&D over the years to prepare for the next-generation semiconductor market,” he also said. “We will surely capture new opportunities for growth in the TBDB and descum equipment market.”

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