Robotic Vision Systems gets order in Japan for WS-series inspection system

FEBRUARY 3--Robotic Vision Systems Inc. (RVSI; Nashua, NH; www.rvsi.com/) has received an order for its WS-series bumped-wafer inspection system to be delivered to a major Japanese semiconductor company.

FEBRUARY 3--Robotic Vision Systems Inc. (RVSI; Nashua, NH; www.rvsi.com/) has received an order for its WS-series bumped-wafer inspection system to be delivered to a major Japanese semiconductor company. The order, the first WS-series system to be purchased for this organization, will be used specifically for surface-defect inspection of bumped wafers that have been fabricated by the semiconductor company. The WS-series is scheduled to ship in April 2004.

Michael Gray, vice president--strategic development at the semiconductor equipment group, said that Japan was expected to become an increasingly major factor in bumped-wafer production. "There was a time when the conventional wisdom said that bumped-wafer inspection could be handled as a spot check," Gray said. "That belief was especially prevalent in Japan, where expectations of upstream quality are especially high. What manufacturers have found is that 100% inspection is an absolute requirement because low-cost techniques have become standard for bump deposition. This means the market size will be a multiple of what we would have expected two or three years ago."

Rather than traditional wire bonds, the newest generation of integrated circuits utilizes microscopic-sized solder or gold "bumps" that are directly deposited on the wafer for electrical connections. RVSI's WS-series improves yield management of bumped wafers and flip chip die, providing a method to maximize yields and profitability by inspecting bump parameters at high production rates. The system's capabilities include inspection of pre-reflow and post-reflow solder bumps and multiprocess gold bumps.

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