Creating successful business for two years: experience of MPI
The division for the development and production of probe systems for advanced semiconductor testing was created in 2014. Entire product range was created from scratch, which allowed to put in the forefront requirements of customers, we were not burdened with old, obsolete designs. For two years we filed more than 15 patent applications. More than 20 models were introduced, from systems with manual positioning of wafers up to fully automatic systems with a cassette holders. The latest development is an automated system for 300 m wafers. Our probe head supports frequencies up to 110 GHz. We also develop calibration and control software.
At the time of appointment in MPI, I had 20 years of experience in leading companies of the market of probe systems. Developing new products, we strive to create solutions that would optimally meet the demands of customers without regard to competitors, and so that it was pleasant and ease to work with the system. At the same time, much attention is paid to details, which on the surface seem insignificant, but in practice largely determine the equipment’s functionality and operation simplicity. I would note that our ideas are appreciated not only by customers but also by competitors who have copied some of the technical solutions.
What equipment features can be noted?
An improved system of rapid platen movement on air-bearing with immediate fixation is applied in manual systems. A small feature that greatly facilitates the work, is that magnets are embedded in all manipulators, in order that fixing screws weren't lost when changing a probe head.
Automated and fully automated systems are controlled by SENTIO system with multi-touch screen that has easy to use interface, similar to the solutions used in smartphones and tablets. In particular, it control the adjustment of wafer. This development is protected by patents and is one of the first examples of the interface with multi-touch functions in industrial equipment. In addition, the emphasis in the development of the control system was placed on preventing human error. I would like to note the multi-language interface of SENTIO and software for calibration, including the support of the Russian language. Among other innovations, it should be noted the integrated control of the platen and IceFreeEnvironment technology, which eliminates the opening of the station at low temperatures. A number of developments are also aimed at reducing the cost of the equipment.
What are the trends in the development of probe systems?
Trends refer to changes of tasks facing users. Growing areas are testing of high-power transistors, silicon photonics devices, MRAM, microwave electronics. We offer comprehensive solutions for all these areas.
What are the positions of MPI in Russia?
Russia is a very important market for us, because Russian enterprises and research centers were among the first in the world who have appreciated the quality of our products. In 2014, we have awarded our Russian partner – the TBS, as the best agent of MPI in the world. About 20 systems are installed in Russia, including four automated for 200 mm wafers. We provide the minimum delivery time of equipment and necessary Russian-speaking technological support.
Interview: Dmitry Gudilin