What is Wafer Grinding/Thinning?

Wafer backgrinding, also known as Wafer thinning, is a semiconductor device fabrication step during which wafer thickness is reduced to allow for stacking and high density packaging of integrated circuits (IC).

ICs are being produced on semiconductor wafers that undergo a multitude of processing steps. Silicon wafers commonly used today are roughly 750 μm thick to ensure a maximum of mechanical stability and to avoid warping during high-temperature processing steps.

Smartcards, USB memory sticks, smartphones, handheld music players, and other ultra compact electronic products would not be feasible in their present form without minimizing the size of their various components along all dimensions. The backside of the wafers are thus “ground” or “thinned” prior to wafer dicing (where the individual microchips are being singulated). Wafers thinned down to 75 to 50 μm are common today.

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