Custom Semiconductor Automation Solutions from Owens Design

Innovative solutions for the semiconductor industry from our partner in Silicon Valley, California

Owens Design offers the design, prototype build, and manufacturing of custom OEM and factory automation equipment for the production of semiconductors, medical devices incorporating semiconductors, EV batteries, and other emerging technologies – all of which perfectly complements the cts solutions portfolio. Many years of experience and knowledge of the requirements for working in demanding environments make the collaboration particularly valuable for our customers.

Owens Design Semiconductor Equipment Examples

Custom Semiconductor Metrology & Inspection Development

Developing new metrology or inspection technologies for an advanced semiconductor fab is a complex endeavor requiring specialized knowledge and significant capital expense. Owens Design reduces the development expense and risk to develop these complex systems by providing a customizable system platform and a complete manufacturing infrastructure for ongoing system manufacturing including changes, configuration management, reliability, and cost reduction.

Owens Design has integrated more metrology and inspection technology systems for leading semiconductor original equipment manufacturers than any other engineering firm worldwide.

Lab Tool

Production tool

Semiconductor X-Ray Inspection Tool

A silicon valley OEM start-up had successfully demonstrated their X-ray inspection technology on their lab tool and needed to rapidly develop a fab-ready product.

Their Asia customer requested a production worthy tool to go into their semiconductor fab in seven months.

The startup needed to go directly from a lab tool to a Fab ready tool on an extremely compressed schedule, bypassing alpha and beta systems. The tool must meet all the SEMI and safety standards, be highly reliable and maintainable and build to high quality requirements. The startup did not have the time nor the capital to build an internal engineering and manufacturing capability. They chose to outsource to someone with deep experience in designing and building semiconductor tools and scaling manufacturing.

Owens Design developed and built the prototype tool in six months. The project kicked off in June, with the final integration complete by January of the following year. The system was then accepted at a Taiwan semiconductor fab the following June – almost exactly one year from the start.

Owens delivered four additional systems in the following month. Production was set up to support building five systems in parallel while handling the current capacity of building two per month.
Owens Design also supported a cost reduction roadmap, to reduce cost and increase profitability

300mm Wafer Heating & Cooling Stations

Heating and cooling 300 mm wafers cost-effectively without contamination is extremely difficult.
Owens Design has developed a preheating and post-cooling station for 300mm wafers
that provides excellent temperature uniformity, fast heating and cooling, and industry-leading backside contamination.

The cost-effective module uses reliable, resistive heating elements to achieve better than 2°C uniformity and up to 450°C heating in less than 15 seconds.

Crucial for the production of 300 mm wafers, the module has extremely low contamination from backside metals and particles. An optional cooling platen can be integrated in the same footprint to provide a very compact and easily interfaced unit. Process gases can also be introduced into both the hot and cold process chambers as an option. Wafer pin lift mechanisms are integrated to both hot and cold platens to facilitate wafer transfer.
The module can be used as a standalone unit or integrated via a BOLTS compliant interface. The standard control interface can be either ethernet or serial and can be customized to your requirements.

Wafer Macro Defect Inspection Module

The macro defect module is used by a fab technician to visually examine wafers under a bright, uniform light for particle and coating defects. Both back and front sides need to be viewable.

The macro defect inspection module designed by Owens Design meets stringent cleanliness requirements, integrates seamlessly with the wafer sorter, and was developed on a compressed schedule. A BOLTS compatible interface allows flexibility in future product versions.

The wafer is held by a failsafe edge grip and the illumination is provided by a halogen light source located in the base of the unit to minimize heat load.

The light is passed via fiber optics and post optics to provide uniform illumination at the wafer plane. Better than Class 1 cleanliness was achieved through careful CFD modeling and the use of mini-ULPA FFU.

Wafer Flipper Module

Owens Design developed a robust and compact, automated wafer flipper module that can accurately orients the substrate in a fast, clean, and reliable manner.

The wafer flipper module was designed to handle both 200 mm and 300 mm wafers and is compatible with both edge grip and vacuum paddle end effectors. Gripping pads are designed with a 3-degree slope to ensure that a 1 mm wafer edge exclusion zone is not exceeded. Sensors are used to detect for both wafer presence and wafer grip to guarantee correct wafer placement.

The product has been designed such that no particles greater than 0.1 μm are detectable coming from the wafer flipper while in motion. All motors and motion mechanisms are contained in a purged enclosure to eliminate particle contamination during the wafer flipping process.

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Custom Automation Services from Owens Design

Owens Design offers the following:

  • Product Design & Build for OEMs
  • Factory Automation Equipment Design & Build
  • Difficult-to-Outsource Manufacturing
  • Laser Automation

Owens Design will meet your product launch schedule through:

  • Proof of concept to minimize risk
  • Rapid prototyping
  • Analysis and selection of design alternatives
  • Improved designs and efficiency to increase product quality
  • Minimized development time

Owens Design develops and builds custom OEM equipment and factory automation solutions that to add measurable value to their operations.
In doing so, Owens Design meets customer objectives in terms of yield, productivity, safety, cycle time or cost, while also ensuring the confidentiality of customer product and process innovations.

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The advantages at a glance:

  • Extend your engineering team and transform your IP into scalable production
  • Enable new manufacturing processes with production ready equipment
  • OEMs: turn your technology into production-ready prototype equipment on accelerated schedules with the lowest risk possible
  • Factories: streamline complex manual processes and rapidly scale production

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Our solutions are customizable. Talk to us!

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