Electronics & Computers

Qcept Technologies Reaches Order Milestone

June 21, 2012

Q-Services offering is helping semiconductor device, IR and CMOS image sensor manufacturers, as well as equipment suppliers, optimize processes and yields with its nonvisual defect inspection service.

ATLANTA, GA /PRNewswire/ -- Qcept Technologies Inc. announced that it has reached a major milestone for its ChemetriQ Inspection Services (Q-Services), which the company unveiled in December 2011. To date, Qcept has received more than 30 orders from eight customers for its Q-Services offering, which enables device manufacturers and equipment vendors to begin implementing non-visual defect (NVD) inspection programs uniquely tailored to their needs prior to purchasing a Qcept ChemetriQ NVD inspection system.

With Q-Services, customers send their substrates to Qcept, which provides an inspection scan with its patented scanning Surface Potential Difference Imaging (SPDI) sensor technology, and then conducts data analysis and reporting relative to the customer's experimental studies. Q-Services can be used for traditional semiconductor substrates and non-wafer-shaped substrates, as well as sub-200-mm diameter wafers—enabling a wide variety of companies to engage with Qcept to explore potential NVD inspection applications for optimizing their manufacturing processes and yields. Q-Services customers include semiconductor device makers, infrared and CMOS image sensor manufacturers, as well as wafer cleaning, plasma etch, plasma ash and e-beam equipment companies that are using Q-Services to support their new product development programs and optimize their processes of record.

"DRS Technologies has used Qcept's Q-Services offering to optimize several of our wafer fab's wet clean processes. Using Q-Services to study rinse margins on existing processes, we were able to identify opportunities to reduce rinse times and chemical usage, as well as achieve cycle time savings," stated Tom Ratcliffe, vice president site manager of DRS Technologies Imaging and Targeting Solutions' Texas facility. "In addition, Q-Services helped us to enhance our rinse margin, which led to further yield improvement. Furthermore, Qcept's reports are thorough and easy to follow. Due to these results, we are looking at additional opportunities to incorporate Q-Services into more of our process releases going forward."

"As we develop next-generation process capabilities for our CMOS image sensor products, it is important that we understand what surface non-uniformities and within-wafer charge variations if any may exist in order to ensure that the processes are robust and ready for manufacturing," according to J.C. Hsieh, R&D senior director at VisEra Technologies Company Ltd. "Our existing inspection capabilities are focused on physical particle defects, which while important are blind to the surface conditions for both thin residues and charge. By working with Qcept through their Q-Services program, we are able to generate inspection results that clearly tell us about the surface conditions of our wafers, including high-resolution full-wafer charge maps on real production wafers. This capability has allowed us to better understand our process, and to make changes that we believe will benefit us with better manufacturing robustness."

"As the pioneer in NVD inspection, it's important that we provide the industry with ready access to our technology so that device manufacturers and equipment companies alike can explore the benefits of NVD inspection in improving their process development efforts and production yields," stated Robert Newcomb, executive vice president of Qcept Technologies. "Our ability to scan any substrate with any process at any time with very little setup through our unique Q-Services offering allows us to brings NVD inspection to a diverse range of companies that might otherwise have limited access to NVD yield management methodologies, as well as to customers that do not have the capital wherewithal to purchase a ChemetriQ system at this time."

About Qcept Technologies
Qcept Technologies Inc. delivers wafer inspection solutions for non-visual defect (NVD) detection in advanced semiconductor manufacturing. Qcept's ChemetriQ platform is being adopted in critical processes for inline, non-contact, full-wafer detection of such NVDs as sub-monolayer organic and metallic residues, process-induced charging, and other undesired surface non-uniformities that cannot be detected by conventional optical inspection equipment.

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