BILLERICA, Mass. and LEUVEN, Belgium, Aug. 28, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Entegris, Inc. (Nasdaq:ENTG), a leader in contamination control and materials handling technologies for highly demanding advanced manufacturing environments, and imec, a world-leading research center in nanoelectronics, announced they are collaborating to advance the development and broaden the adoption of 3D integrated circuits. 3D IC technology, a process by which multiple semiconductor dies are stacked into a single device, is aimed at increasing the functionality and performance of next-generation integrated circuits while reducing footprint and power consumption. It is a key technology to enable the next generation of portable electronics such as smartphones and tablets that require smaller ICs which consume less power. One of the key steps in 3D IC manufacturing process entails thinning semiconductor wafers while they are bonded to carrier substrates. Handling such thinned 3D IC wafers during the production process can result in wafer breakage, edge damage, and particle generation. A standardized, fully automated solution that supports the handling of multiple types of wafers would result in a significant cost reduction and pave the way toward further development and scaling of 3D IC technologies. Imec and Entegris are working on creating a solution to safely transfer and handle multiple kinds of 3D IC wafers without the risk of breakage and other damage that may occur during the 3D production process. "We are excited to work with the imec team, which is a key research center leading technology innovation for the semiconductor industry," said Bertrand Loy, president and CEO of Entegris. "Our current collaboration is aimed at leveraging our wafer handling expertise and technology to reduce contamination and breakage by applying full automation to the handling of thin wafers during 3D wafer production. This project builds on our previously completed work with imec to develop dispense and filtration methods to reduce bubble and defect formation during the dispense of material that is used to temporarily bond 3D wafers to carrier substrates," said Loy.