October 9, 2009 – Rudolph Technologies says that it has shipped "multiple" tools for backend inspection to Taiwanese subcon Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc. (ASE), illustrating a trend to incorporate real-time process control into advanced backend fabrication processes.
Growing complexity of backend processes mean "manufacturers are increasingly replacing existing outgoing quality control procedures with advanced, in-line process control methodologies, which are already well established in frontend fabs," noted Jimmy Lin, Rudolph GM in Taiwan, in a statement. That means more advanced capabilities are needed, such as replacing wire bonds with bump-based connections, noted Ardy Johnson, Rudolph VP of marketing. "We see significant potential for growth in the backend inspection market, a result of being inserted at multiple in-line applications, as advanced packaging technologies are more widely adopted," Lin added.
The order from ASE (specifically for Rudolph’s NSX system with Discover yield management software) is part of a larger batch of 20 tool orders announced in mid-September from four outsourced assembly/test (OAST) companies and foundries, a level of activity not seen in a year, according to the company.