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VCSEL Makers Choose ClassOne Plating Systems


Compound semiconductor makers are moving to Solstice platform for its flexibility and price, says CEO

Semiconductor equipment manufacturer ClassOne Technology has announced the sale of its Solstice electroplating systems to several leading providers of VCSEL devices in recent months. The announcement was made by ClassOne Group CEO, Byron Exarcos.

"This is an important trend. We're observing unprecedented demand for VCSEL manufacturing capacity to support 3D sensing, fibre-optic communications, and laser-based materials processing," said 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. Our Solstice platform provides state-of-the-art automation and control, with industry-leading uniformity and throughput. 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 that are 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," explained 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 Etch, KOH Etch, Anodising, and more - all from a single automated platform. We call this Plating-Plus, and it can eliminate the need to purchase additional downstream tools."

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

Solstice is a family of electroplating tools that includes Solstice S8 and S4, which are 8- and 4-chamber systems that can deliver throughputs of up to 75 wph. 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.

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