FLANDERS, USA: Rudolph Technologies Inc., a leading provider of process characterization equipment and software for semiconductor, solar and LED industries, announced that is has shipped the 1,000th NSX inspection system from its manufacturing operations center in Bloomington, Minnesota.
The NSX-80 inspection system was launched in 1997 by Minnesota-based August Technology Corp., and gained the attention of the industry’s top chipmakers who quickly saw the benefit of replacing manual inspection— widely recognized as slow and inconsistent— with automated processes. By August 2000, the 100th NSX System had been shipped and the company was firmly positioned as a leader in automated macro inspection.
“Following receipt of our first purchase order, the emphasis from the onset was two-fold: meet customers’ expectations and deliver on-time,” recalls Rudolph employee, Doug Larsen, one of two mechanical engineers on the original NSX-80 design team.
Rudolph Technologies merged with August Technology in 2006 and has continued to introduce new NSX models to meet the increasingly complex inspection needs of high-volume semiconductor manufacturers in the back-end packaging arena. Each new NSX model has been designed to help continuously reduce cost of ownership while improving production yields by offering new capabilities to inspect wafer-level packaging, microbumps, MEMs devices and LED wafers.
“Over time, new and challenging applications have driven new NSX System designs and improvements,” Larsen continued. “Today, over 150 NSX Systems are performing probe mark inspection (PMI), over 200 are doing bump inspection and it has become the de-facto standard for 100 percent inspection among automotive semiconductor device manufacturers.”
In June 2011, Rudolph announced the first order for the latest addition to the NSX family, the NSX 320 Inspection System. Based on years of research and development combined with extensive field experience, the NSX 320 System is optimized for advanced packaging processes that use through silicon vias (TSV) to connect multiple die in a single package.
Due to the continued acceptance of the NSX System combined with the addition of the Wafer Scanner Inspection System to its back-end portfolio, Rudolph has maintained #1 market share in Semiconductor Wafer-Level Packaging Inspection (Gartner Dataquest) since 2005.