Ramy Langer, Chief Operating Officer
Who would have thought that the 1965 hypothesis by Gordon Moore will still hold true to this day? In fact, the semiconductor industry has superseded those expectations and continues to mesmerize us with innovations such as smartphones, driverless cars, IoT devices, and the upcoming 5G networks. This revolution in the industry is only possible due to advancements in the integrated circuits (ICs) installed in any modern-day electronic device. However, while these devices have made our everyday life a lot easier, the manufacturing process of ICs is an arduous task. From wafer processing through device packaging, there are hundreds of steps involved, which are undertaken in the course of weeks. In addition the need to meet Moore’s has forced the industry to adapt new packaging technology known as advanced packaging. This calls for high precision, and any minor flaw or inconsistency can impact an entire manufacturing process. Thus, inspection and metrology processes become paramount to detect any errors at crucial steps. It allows organizations to check whether or not the desired patterns are fabricated as well as to detect and mitigate any flaws in their manufacturing process for improved yields.
This is where an Israel-based Camtek takes center stage with high-end inspection and metrology equipment. With its inspection and metrology systems at their helm, global integrated device manufacturers (IDMs), outsourced semiconductor assembly and test providers (OSATs), and foundries can inspect and measure wafers throughout the production process of semiconductor devices, from the last steps in the front-end through mid-end until post dicing. These systems detect defective dice at very high throughput, which ensures that only known good dice are used in the end products. This is crucial for the industry as the final products are made of multiple dice and without ensuring that only know good dice are used, the products will not function.
Established in 1987, Camtek started with the inspection of PCB boards and moved to the semiconductor business in 2005.
Subsequently, in 2017, Camtek sold its PCB businesses to become a pure-play semiconductor company. Today, through its Eagle product family, Camtek caters to a myriad of semiconductor market segments, including Advanced Packaging, Memory, CMOS Image Sensors, MEMS, and RF that require impeccable precision. Of 2D inspection and metrology capabilities, “Our equipment works around the clock for years and has the highest throughput in the industry,” says Ramy Langer, Chief Operating Officer at Camtek.
Langer reckons that in recent years, advanced packaging has grown into a complex process due to smaller feature sizes, new integration schemes, and the heterogeneous integration of multiple components into single packages. To this end, Camtek offers Eagle-AP product that is designed especially for the advanced packaging market. The product provides both 2D and 3D inspection and metrology on the same platform while keeping extremely high performance and throughput levels. Notably, the company is well known to be the standard in the industry for measuring copper pillar bumps and can measure bumps down to 2um and up to 100 million bumps per wafer with 100 percent defect detection and metrology. “We see wafers with many millions of bumps, and there will be a lot more in a few years, so, we need to measure millions of bumps—ensure all of them are in place with the same height within sub-micron accuracy within minutes for wafer. And, that’s an undertaking where we are by far the best,” mentions Langer.
As every organization has a unique manufacturing process, the company does not undertake a one-size-fits-all approach. It first understands the clients’ requirements, collaborates with their teams, and ensures that they are all on the same page before offering its equipment. Langer informs, “Our clients have different requirements in terms of material handling, inspection, and metrology requirements, and we support them at each step of the way.” Furthermore, organizations with several machines at their helm need tool matching to ensure process consistency and high performance to improve a high yield. To tackle this, the company delivers robust software solutions, including automatic defect classification (ADC), which combines machine learning and data mining capabilities to improve production and yield using manual and automatic tools and analysis capabilities.
Camtek has best in class customer support team. The company has its engineers next to its clients at major locations worldwide, including the U.S., Europe, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, China, Singapore, Thailand, and the Philippines. Its engineers provide full control of the balance and performance of its clients’ systems. “Our credibility is of paramount importance to us, and we always deliver what we promised to our clients,” says Langer. In addition, Camtek also provides preventive maintenance of its equipment to ensure uninterrupted performance.
Due to a continued push towards innovations, the company always stays ahead of the customer requirements, carving a niche for itself in the semiconductor industry. Since becoming a pure play semiconductor company in 2017, the company has more than doubled its business and is poised to add more success in the coming years. Besides, as mega-trends such as big data, AI, 5G, HPC, IoT, smart automotive, Industry 4.0, data centers, and others are becoming a part of our day-to-day life, the semiconductor manufacturing processes are set to be more complex and arduous. To stay on top of these trends, the company invests about 12 percent of its revenue toward research and development and keeps on adding new applications and capabilities into its inspection and metrology systems to cement its numero uno position in the industry. “We always keep an eye on where the industry is moving and follow an aggressive technology roadmap to support our clients’ existing as well as future requirements,” concludes Langer.