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Rudolph Technologies buys Stella Alliance for semicon inspection tech

Semiconductor equipment provider, Rudolph Technologies, has purchased Stella Alliance, a Massachusetts-based semiconductor inspection technology company.

Stella Alliance’s illumination, auto-focus and image acquisition technology enhances the ability to identify certain critical defects when manufacturing silicon chips not visible with current techniques. With this acquisition, Rudolph expects to add a high-resolution inspection system to its portfolio of solutions in the second quarter of 2016.

Additionally, the acquired technology is able to handle large rectangular substrates, extending Rudolph’s inspection portfolio footprint into the growing unserved segments of microelectronic device manufacturing.

The Stella Alliance technology was developed to overcome the challenges of detecting residue-related defects that traditional technologies can miss. These defects can have a significant impact on the interconnect quality onboard the silicon chips, such as incomplete etch of bond or bump pads, faint copper bridging and stringers at the bottom of vias, and high aspect ratio trenches in fan-out wafer level packaging (FOWLP), wafer-level chip scale packaging (WLCSP) and embedded die applications.

In addition, the technology provides the high resolution needed to inspect highly warped rectangular panels (larger than 500mm). This complements Rudolph’s JetStep S line of lithography steppers. With this technology, Rudolph will offer a more comprehensive panel solution, which involves printing, inspecting and yield analysis.

Mike Goodrich, vice president and general manager of Rudolph’s Inspection business unit, commented: ‘As interconnect technology becomes increasingly important in back-end 3D and 2.5D applications, we anticipate this inspection technique to be a key component for our customers’ process control strategies.’

Rudolph Technologies does not expect the transaction to have an impact on the results of operations for the 2015 third quarter. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

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Rudolph Technologies


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