[News] Huawei Applies Patent for Wafer Processing Technology That Enhances Wafer Alignment Efficiency and Precision

2023-12-15 Semiconductors editor

Amid ongoing rumors about Huawei potentially establishing its own wafer fab, the company has remained relatively discreet, especially in light of the U.S. restrictions on the exportation of semiconductor technologies to China. However, recent developments suggest that there may be some truth to these rumors. According to a patent announcement from the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA), Huawei has applied for a patent related to wafer processing.

According to a report from Chinese media outlet JRJ on December 12th, Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. has filed a patent application titled “Wafer Processing Device and Wafer Processing Method” under the public number CN117219552A with the CNIPA. The application date is listed as June 2022.

The patent abstract shows the embodiments disclosure related to devices and methods for wafer processing. The wafer processing device comprises a wafer stage rotated along a rotation axis, a mechanical arm with a robotic hand for handling wafers and placing them on the wafer stage, a controller, and a calibration component. The calibration component includes a grating plate, fixed relative to the wafer stage; a light source, fixed relative to the grating plate; and an imaging element, fixedly provided on the mechanical arm, and adapted to receive light emitted from the light source and transmitted through the grating plate; wherein , the controller is configured to control the mechanical arm or the adjustment device on the mechanical arm to adjust the position of the wafer based on the detection of the received light by the imaging element;wherein, when the wafer stage carries the wafer, the grating plate and the imaging element are respectively located on opposite sides of the table where the upper surface of the wafer stage is located, and the upper surface is used to carry the wafer. The devices and methods provided by embodiments of the present disclosure can improve wafer alignment efficiency and alignment accuracy.

Earlier reports have suggested that Huawei is involved in the construction of wafer fabs in China. According to a news report from Bloomberg, Huawei is actively contributing to the expansion of at least three wafer fabs in the country. In its pursuit of building a self-sustaining semiconductor network, Huawei has acquired manufacturing facilities from Jinhua Integrated Circuit (JHICC) and Qingdao Aristocrat (Suppoly). Additionally, the company has assisted in the establishment of production facilities operated by Pengxinwei (PXW) and Shenzhen Pengsheng Technology (PST). It is worth noting that JHICC and PXW face challenges in selling their products to multinational corporations and encounter difficulties in procuring advanced wafer manufacturing equipment due to being blacklisted by the U.S. government.

Please note that this article cites information from JRJ and Tom’s Hardware

(Image: Huawei)

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