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Fraunhofer Taps Rudolph for MEMS Inspection

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FLANDERS, N.J., July 26, 2010 — Rudolph Technologies Inc., provider of process characterization equipment and software for wafer fabs and advanced packaging facilities, announced that the Fraunhofer Institute for Silicon Technology (ISIT) in Germany has placed an order for an NSX Series Macro Inspection System for advanced MEMS processing. The system will be installed this summer in the state-of-the-art 200-mm MEMS pilot production line at ISIT.

“ISIT evaluated the NSX System along with several other inspection systems for this application,” said Hartmut Seeger, sales manager for Rudolph in Europe. “Acceptance of this tool confirms that the investments we have made to address unique MEMS inspection requirements, including the challenge of wafer handling, are meeting our customers’ needs.”

The ISO 9001:2008-certified production environment at ISIT enables the development of advanced MEMS devices for inertial, RF and electro-optical applications with the required application-specific packaging technology at the wafer level. The functional integration of extremely small features requires automatic defect inspection at small dimensions with high throughput and limited effect on the wafers. Hermetic wafer-level vacuum packaging (with integrated getter) requires an inspection tool that is highly flexible in both hardware and software features.

“Silicon and glass cap wafers are not only fragile but have deep cavities and sensitive features on both sides of the wafer, requiring a unique wafer handling concept,” said Dr. Wolfgang Reinert, team leader of advanced electronic packaging, Fraunhofer ISIT. “The cap wafer inspection results need to be mirrored and interfaced with the ISIT final electrical test equipment for single device traceability and inkless assembly.”

“The capabilities of Rudolph’s Discover all-surface defect analysis and data management software on the NSX platform support these tasks during the device development phase and after the technology transfer to MEMS pilot production,” added Sascha Mühlmann, MEMS engineer, Fraunhofer ISIT.

The NSX Series is a fast, repeatable macro defect inspection solution used throughout the semiconductor device manufacturing process. Macro defects can be created during wafer manufacturing, probing, bumping, dicing or general handling and can have a major impact on the quality of a microelectronic device. The NSX, specifically designed for back-end manufacturing and often selected by automotive device manufacturers for 100 percent inspection, can handle whole and thinned wafers on film frames. It can quickly and accurately detect yield-inhibiting defects to provide quality assurance and valuable process information.

With this order from Fraunhofer ISIT, the installed base of Rudolph Technologies’ NSX Systems totals more than 600 worldwide.

For more information, visit:
Jul 2010
AmericasBusinessDr. Wolfgang Reinertelectro-optical applicationsEuropeFraunhofer Institute for Silicon TechnologyGermanygreen photonicsHartmut SeegarindustrialISO 9001:2008-certified productionMEMSNew JerseyNSX PlatformNSX series macro inspection systemRudolph TechnologiesSascha MühlmannWafer fabswafer handling

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