July 11, 2008 — NexPlanar Corporation recently completed a $14.5 million round of funding to commercialize the next generation of chemical mechanical planarization (CMP) pad technology for semiconductor devices.
NexPlanar uses proprietary “nano-domain” technology which improves planarity and across wafer uniformity and can be utilized to customize the pads for specific applications. The application specific CMP pads can be tuned, for example, for sensitive structures on the device by varying the hard and soft domains of the pad. NexPlanar’s “nano-lubricants” and patented molded groove technologies allow for low stress CMP (required for the most advanced CMP applications), result in an order of magnitude fewer defects, and allow the use of low slurry consumption processing.
InterWest Partners led the round of investment. Other existing investors participated, including BlueRun Ventures, Smart Forest Ventures, Fina Ventures, Intel Capital and Entegris.
“As device geometries shrink, there must be a paradigm shift in the CMP process. Our proprietary pad technology enables advanced processes while offering significantly improved yields in existing processes,” commented Jim LaCasse, CEO and president of NexPlanar. “Our mandate is to improve the CMP yields by improving the planarity and reducing defects, while at the same time lowering cost of ownership by increasing the pad life and lowering slurry consumption.”