Wafer inspection firm Qcept adds more funding

Mar. 3, 2008 – Qcept Technologies, an Atlanta, GA-based developer of surface inspection systems for semiconductor manufacturing, has raised another $9.5M in a Series C round of funding, led by previous investors (Siemens Venture Capital, along with Pittco Capital Management and others), bringing the overall total financing raised to roughly $25M.

The new funds will be used to support expansion of operations, “to speed delivery of our ChemetriQ inspection solutions to help customers with their growing NVD-related yield issues,” said David Lam, chairman of Qcept, in a statement.

Qcept, a participant in the 2005 SEMICON West Technology Innovation Showcase, says it now has multiple systems at customer fabs for process development and pilot and volume production. Its technology uses electrical field gradients or contact potential differences between the probe and the surface as it scans across the wafer, detecting the different work functions of the different materials on the surface, to make a map of the chemical nonuniformities across the wafer that cannot be seen with optical tools.

The company claims its tools can nondestructively detect nonvisual defects in 4min vs. 6hrs via other analytical methods, and are sensitive to 5E9 atoms/sq. cm (1/20,000 atoms per sq. cm), exceeding ITRS requirements for metallic contamination detection down to the 22nm node.

Qcept closed its initial $4.0 million Series B round of funding in May 2004, and an add-on of $3.25 million in funding in Dec. 2005, also led by Siemens Venture Capital. A follow-on Series B round closed in April 2006 netting additional undisclosed funds.


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