There's Moore to come: SCHOTT strengthens glass substrate portfolio, allowing advanced semiconductor packaging for the age of AI

27 September 2023, Mainz, Germany

  • SCHOTT announces a three-point action plan to address the chip industry's needs for glass-substrate based advanced chip packaging.
  • The action plan accelerates product development, optimization, and investments to meet increasing demand.
SCHOTT, the international technology group whose founder Otto Schott invented specialty glass, is taking steps to support the integrated circuit (IC) industry in advancing the pace of Moore's Law with new materials. This development is needed for more powerful computing intended for applications such as artificial intelligence (AI). As uncompromised, high-quality glass substrates are crucial for enabling advanced packaging in the upcoming decade, SCHOTT is proactively setting the course to enable the industry to innovate even further.
Diverse variety of panel glass and carrier wafers with black background.
SCHOTT offers a diverse variety of panel glass and carrier wafers for advanced semiconductor packaging and processing. Photo: SCHOTT

The future of chip packaging starts with glass. SCHOTT CEO Dr. Frank Heinricht underlines the company's commitment to the IC industry, while highlighting the steps already taken to handle increasing demand. “Today, we are announcing a three-point action plan to tackle the increasing demand for glass substrates for advanced packaging. Our action plan is broken up into three points of focus: researching, upgrading, and investing,” says Dr. Heinricht. “As we have been in a constant exchange with industry leaders, we are now accelerating our product development and have already established a leading position to immediately supply high-quality substrates the chip industry's R&D teams need."

The action plan addresses the following glass substrate-related areas that have a direct impact on chip packaging designs and markets:

  1. Product innovations: Major SCHOTT material innovations for a diverse range of applications targeting the IC industry are already available to customers today. Additionally, unique substrates that are tailor-made for diverse applications in advanced chip packaging have entered the final stage of market-readiness.

  2. Upgrading of existing substrates: Over the past years, glass substrate innovations targeting the IC industry have undergone constant optimization and development, e.g., by regularly improving geometric tolerances, securing exceptional flatness, and adding maximum versatility in format, thickness range, and material development on various characteristics. SCHOTT will continue this orientation to be ready for the industry requirements.

  3. Expansion of melting and processing capacities and capabilities: With increasing demand, large-scale level capacities are needed to supply seamlessly. SCHOTT has already decided to expand its infrastructure to brace the rise of the industry. For example, capacities and capabilities of SCHOTT’s facilities in Europe and Asia will be continuously extended.

"Major steps in advanced packaging can be realized based on material innovations. As glass offers numerous attributes that have clear benefits for semiconductor manufacturing, specialty glass has the potential to bring advanced packaging to the next level. " says Stefan Hergott, head of SCHOTT's Special Flat Glass & Wafer unit.

Unique properties of glass, such as thermal, mechanical properties, or an ultra-low flatness in geometrical property, are trailblazing innovation and new products in semiconductor packaging. Therefore, these attributes enable semicon experts to create high-end packaging with a much higher performance and more flexibility.

SCHOTT already offers a broad range of products for specific applications in advanced packaging. This includes glass panels for semiconductor packaging (e.g., D263® T eco, BOROFLOAT® 33 or AF 32® eco) or glass as a consumable carrier wafer  (e.g. made of AF 35 G or BOROFLOAT®) in semiconductor production.


Beyond substrates – SCHOTT has been enabling computer chip manufacturing for decades

Besides the most recent innovations in the field of glass substrates tailored for the semiconductor industry, SCHOTT's products have been a key part of the chip manufacturing industry for decades as well. The near-zero expansion material ZERODUR®, for example, is a crucial component of leading lithography machines worldwide. Within these lithography machines, silicon wafers and exposure masks must be positioned precisely to produce the finest structures for the most potent microchips. SCHOTT products, including flexible light guides, ensure that the highest precision is maintained during the process. Since these machines are used in all chip foundries and IDMs around the world, nearly all computer chips on earth encounter specialty glass from SCHOTT.

Pioneering. Responsibly. Together.

These attributes characterize SCHOTT as a manufacturer of high-tech materials based on specialty glass. Founder Otto Schott is considered its inventor and became the pioneer of an entire industry. Always opening up new markets and applications with a pioneering spirit and passion – this is what has driven the #glasslovers at SCHOTT for almost 140 years. Represented in over 30 countries, the company is a highly skilled partner for high-tech industries: Healthcare, Home Appliances & Living, Consumer Electronics, Semiconductors & Datacom, Optics, Industry & Energy, Automotive, Astronomy & Aerospace. In the fiscal year 2022, its 17,200 employees generated sales of 2.8 billion euros. SCHOTT AG is owned by the Carl Zeiss Foundation, one of the oldest foundations in Germany. It uses the Group's dividends to promote science. As a foundation company, SCHOTT has anchored responsibility for employees, society and the environment deeply in its DNA. The goal is to become a climate-neutral company by 2030.

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Michael Matthias Müller, Head of Innovation PR & Storytelling
Michael Matthias Müller

Head of Innovation PR & Storytelling