Nanometrics Announces Sale of UniFire Tool

MILPITAS, CA /BUSINESS WIRE/ -- Nanometrics Inc., a leading provider of advanced process control metrology systems, announced that a major Korean memory manufacturer has accepted its UniFire 7900 metrology system for process control of advanced packaging of DRAM devices. The metrology tool will be used in development of through-silicon via (TSV) technology, projected to be a key enabling feature of next-generation DRAM designs. With this placement, the UniFire system has now been adopted by four of the top seven semiconductor manufacturers worldwide.

The UniFire tool offers customers a broad range of features to control their micro bump; redistribution layer(s); and TSV patterning, etch, and deposition processes, including measurement of critical dimensions, registration, and depth/height/profile, as well as the ability to measure wafer bow/shape and film thickness.

"High precision measurements of TSV, micro bump, and redistribution processes are critical to enable high-yield DRAM devices for next-generation wafer scale packaging," said Dr. Michael Darwin, Vice President of the UniFire and Materials Characterization Groups at Nanometrics. "The UniFire offers a unique, nondestructive 3D-metrology capability, allowing full-surface topography control while reducing the need for multiple, independent metrology tools. This capability makes it an indispensable tool to ensure a higher yielding and quality manufacturing process, with reduced cost of ownership."

According to market research company Yole Developpement, the overall market for 3D IC–related equipment is projected to grow significantly in total revenue over the next five years, with a CAGR of more than 60%. The growth will be mainly driven by the emergence of 3D TSV stacked memories, wide I/O interface in logic ICs, as well as MEMS, CMOS image sensors, and other 3D stacking applications.

"Our UniFire system continues to show promise as it is adopted by market leaders and proven to be a powerful and versatile tool," said Dr. Timothy J. Stultz, President and Chief Executive Officer. "The UniFire's application in process control for wafer-scale packaging applications meaningfully expands our served markets and opportunity for business growth."

About Nanometrics
Nanometrics Inc. is a leading provider of advanced, high-performance process control metrology systems, used primarily in the fabrication of semiconductors, high-brightness LEDs, data storage devices, and solar photovoltaics. Nanometrics' automated and integrated metrology systems measure critical dimensions, device structures, overlay registration, topography, and various thin-film properties, including film thickness, as well as optical, electrical, and material properties. The company's process control solutions are deployed throughout the fabrication process, from front-end-of-line substrate manufacturing to high-volume production of semiconductors and other devices to advanced wafer-scale packaging applications. Nanometrics' systems enable device manufacturers to improve yields, increase productivity, and lower their manufacturing costs. The company maintains its headquarters in Milpitas, CA, with sales and service offices worldwide.

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