Omron, a Japanese provider of health care equipment and factory automation, is setting its sights on the lucrative chipmaking gear market to fuel future growth.
The Kyoto-based electronics firm is launching an X-ray scanner in the spring that will better detect flaws in advanced semiconductor manufacturing and improve production yields for the world’s biggest chipmakers. The VT-X950 machine will produce 3D images of chips with sufficient resolution to identify defects at a 1-nanometer scale, at least a generation ahead of the current best-in-class silicon fabrication techniques.
Because the scans only take 30 seconds each, a chipmaker can monitor production at close to real time and make adjustments and corrections more efficiently. The yield, or proportion of defect-free chips produced from each silicon wafer, is a closely watched metric for fabricators like Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing and Samsung Electronics — it affects each firm’s costs and speed in fulfilling customer orders.