Switzerland-based microchip toolmaker Unisers has raised $14 million in a funding round led by Intel Capital. The machines would offer a new level of performance in the difficult task of detecting extraneous extremely small particles that ruin chips in production. A tiny particle that lands on a silicon wafer, from which chips are made, can cause a chip to malfunction.
Unisers, a microchip toolmaker located in Switzerland, announced on Thursday that it had secured $14 million in a round headed by Intel Capital to create new-technology demonstrator machines for testing by large chip-fabrication customers.
According to Ali Altun, chief executive and founder of Unisers, the devices would provide a new level of performance in the challenging task of detecting extraneous extremely minute particles that destroy chips in manufacture.
A microscopic particle that lands on a silicon wafer, from which chips are created, can cause a chip to malfunction, albeit the fault may not be noticed until months later, at the end of a production process of thousands of steps.
Defect-Detecting Tools In Chipmaking
As a result, detecting particles as soon as they corrupt wafers saves money. Particles of ever decreasing dimensions become an issue as processors perform quicker and their circuitry becomes tinier. “We are the only business that can identify these really small, little particles on wafer that are smaller than 10 nanometers,” Altun told Reuters. The technology in the new machines is Unisers’ first offering. Altun explained that the procedure applied an unique coating to wafers to improve particle visibility when light was bounced off them.
While Intel Capital has invested to assist bring the technology to market, Jennifer Ard, Intel Capital’s managing director, said the semiconductor industry has to work more to minimise contamination in its materials and facilities, known as fabs. “Some of the ways we’re measuring things within the fab are approaching the point where we can’t utilise traditional optical methods and others,” she explained. Unisers’ technique is also geared at detecting impurities in materials, which are another source of flaws.
Efficient sub-10nm particle detection and analysis for the semiconductor industry (and beyond). Increase yield by detect defect sources.
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