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1 June 2018

VCSEL manufacturers select ClassOne electroplating systems

© Semiconductor Today Magazine / Juno PublishiPicture: Disco’s DAL7440 KABRA laser saw.

ClassOne Technology of Kalispell, MT, USA says that in recent months it has sold Solstice electroplating systems to leading providers of vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) devices.

“We’re observing unprecedented demand for VCSEL manufacturing capacity to support 3D sensing, fiber-optic communications, and laser-based materials processing,” says ClassOne Group CEO Byron Exarcos. “At the same time, we see that compound semiconductor manufacturers are migrating production from wet benches to automated single-wafer plating. The strong upturn in our Solstice sales reflects this,” he adds. “Our Solstice platform provides state-of-the-art automation and control, with industry-leading uniformity and throughput,” he claims. “At half the cost of competitive products, Solstice has become the platform of choice for manufacturers who use smaller substrates.”

ClassOne has developed several proprietary high-performance Solstice processing chambers of particular interest to VCSEL manufacturers who require high-speed, high-quality cost-cutting plating using materials such as gold, nickel or copper.

“Compound semiconductor makers are looking for maximum flexibility,” notes Exarcos. “They like the fact that Solstice can run multiple wafer sizes simultaneously, and that the platform can be configured for a wide variety of wet processes beyond electroplating. These include metal lift-off, resist strip, gold deplate, UBM [under bump metallization] etch, KOH etch, anodizing, and more — all from a single automated platform,” he adds. “We call this Plating-Plus, and it can eliminate the need to purchase additional downstream tools.”

Exarcos says that, in addition to system performance, VCSEL manufacturers are attracted to Solstice's affordability. The ≤200mm Solstice systems are priced at roughly half the cost of comparable 300mm systems from the large equipment manufacturers, it is reckoned.

The Solstice family of electroplating tools includes Solstice S8 and S4, which are 8- and 4-chamber systems that can deliver throughputs of up to 75 wafers per hour. Multiple wet-process chambers enable the tools to perform multiple processes in-line simultaneously. ClassOne also offers the semi-automated Solstice LT specifically for process development and low-volume applications.

Tags: ClassOne

Visit: www.classone.com/products

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