editor's blog
Subscribe Now

Cleaning Up After You

This is something of a more off-the-beaten path story that I ran into at Semicon West. I talked with a German company called DAS that focuses on environmental remediation. In other words, cleaning up after the rest of you.

Fabs have always needed scrubbers to clean up the wide variety of rather questionable substances that really shouldn’t be out wandering the streets without supervision. Typically, that’s been done in one place: all of the various waste gasses from the different processes would be directed to the Mother of All Gas Confabs to mix and mingle and then – in the ultimate betrayal – to be scrubbed. Sort of like inviting folks with outstanding warrants to pick up their winning lottery tickets and then arresting them when they get there.

But that takes lots of piping and, not inconsequentially, creates some level of risk as the various gasses are allowed to consort with each other. The trend is away from centralized scrubbing and towards point-of-use abatement, meaning that each process or machine has its gasses neutralized at the machine rather than all in one place.

It turns out that there are very different treatments for different waste gas streams – especially when you look beyond just the semiconductor business. Techniques include “burn/wet” treatment (where water scrubs the burn products); electrostatic treatment for dust; “thermal/wet” treatments; oxidation/pyrolysis for LEDs (hydrogen and ammonia); and a new “wet” treatment for lab bench waste.

At Semicon West, they focused on two systems – an existing one and that new one. The Styrax system is a burn/wet unit used for waste gasses from etch, CVD, metal organic CVD (MOCVD), transparent conductive oxide (TCO) deposition, and epitaxy. It’s a water-intensive process (many of these seem to be), but they’ve gotten water usage down to 1 l/min through the use of lye; without it they would need more like 20 l/min.

Then they announced a new system called Salix for single-wafer clean wet bench processes. This is for water-soluble waste gasses, and it has two stages – one for acids, one for alkalis. It doesn’t handle organics (presumably not an issue for this application). It can handle up to 3 x4 inlets, so, I guess in that regard, there’s still some mixage going on… just not at the building level.

You can check out more detail in their Salix release.

Leave a Reply

featured blogs
Jul 3, 2020
[From the last episode: We looked at CNNs for vision as well as other neural networks for other applications.] We'€™re going to take a quick detour into math today. For those of you that have done advanced math, this may be a review, or it might even seem to be talking down...
Jul 2, 2020
Using the bitwise operators in general, and employing them to perform masking operations in particular, can be extremely efficacious....
Jul 2, 2020
In June, we continued to upgrade several key pieces of content across the website, including more interactive product explorers on several pages and a homepage refresh. We also made a significant update to our product pages which allows logged-in users to see customer-specifi...

Featured Video

Product Update: DesignWare® Foundation IP

Sponsored by Synopsys

Join Prasad Saggurti for an update on Synopsys’ DesignWare Foundation IP, including the world’s fastest TCAMs, widest-voltage GPIOs, I2C & I3C IOs, and LVDS IOs. Synopsys Foundation IP is silicon-proven in 7nm in more than 500,000 customer wafers, and 5nm is in development.

Click here for more information about DesignWare Foundation IP: Embedded Memories, Logic Libraries & GPIO

Featured Paper

Cryptography: A Closer Look at the Algorithms

Sponsored by Maxim Integrated

Get more details about how cryptographic algorithms are implemented and how an asymmetric key algorithm can be used to exchange a shared private key.

Click here to download the whitepaper

Featured Chalk Talk

Embedded Display Applications Innovation

Sponsored by Mouser Electronics and Texas Instruments

DLP technology can add a whole new dimension to your embedded design. If you considered DLP in the past, but were put off by the cost, you need to watch this episode of Chalk Talk where Amelia Dalton chats with Philippe Dollo of Texas Instruments about the DLP LightCrafter 2000 EVM. This new kit makes DLP more accessible and less expensive to design in, and could have a dramatic impact on your next embedded design.

Click here for more information about Texas Instruments DLP2000 Digital Micromirror Device (DMD)