SEMI, the international association of semiconductor manufacturers, announced a significant increase of industry turnover during the beginning of 2010.
This trend is confirmed by Fries Research & Technology (FRT), specialist multisensor surface measurements and wafer metrology equipment vendor. "The increased demand, and the ongoing innovation in this market clearly drives our business for automated metrology tools for production control", explains CEO of FRT, Dr. Thomas Fries.
Suppliers of wafer production equipment benefit from overall growth Worldwide semiconductor manufacturers and production equipment suppliers are recuperating from crisis and industry downturn. According to SEMI, turnover in Q1 2010 increased by 142 percent to 7.46 billion USD in comparison to Q1 of the previous year (which accounts for a sequential growth of 32 percent). Even better was the development of order entries, which exploded by 484 percent to 9.41 billion USD. "We expect further investment into production equipment because there are several new fabs for semiconductor based products on the way to satisfy the surging and future demand.“, explains Dr. Thomas Fries.
With its innovative product offering of both manual and fully automated multisensor metrology tools, FRT has gained acceptance among an increasing number of leading manufacturers in the semiconductor field and related industries. Order entries have more than doubled within a nine month period compared to the previous year. The success is due to two reasons: The recent extension of sales and service coverage in Asia, especially in growing markets like China, Taiwan and South Korea as well as a market penetration strategy with specialized solutions for semiconductor manufacturers.
One of these solutions are the automated wafer metrology tools of the FRT MFE (Metrology for Frontend) series. FRT MFE tools can be equipped with wafer recognition and robotic wafer handling allowing them to work independently without user interaction. Due to their compliance with industry standards and optional EFEM technology, the tools can be seamlessly integrated into the wafer production process. FRT offers different standardized analysis packages for the various metrology tasks during production. Depending on the application, it is for example possible to determine the wafer thickness variation according to SEMI standards or to conduct measurements of film thickness, roughness, and contour – all with outstanding precision in the micro- and nanometer range.
"To concentrate our efforts into this market was the right decision“, says Dr. Fries, happy about the successful strategic and technological development path of his company.