Improving Yields with MRS Technology in Electronics Assembly, Semiconductor and General Purpose Metrology

EPP, Germany interviews Dr. Subodh Kulkarni, President and CEO, CyberOptics Corporation at Productronica Germany.

Q: Tell us about MRS Technology. What makes it superior?

A: MRS stands for Multi-Reflection Suppression Technology. It is a 3D optical sensing technology that we pioneered a few years ago. We have invested a lot in this technology and essentially as the name suggests, we have been able to take the reflections of light, and light bounces around anytime it sees a reflective surface and creates havoc in measurement and inspection reports, but what we have been able to do is we been able to digitally tag the light and make sure we have suppress the multiple reflections of light and enable high quality inspection and measurement reports.

Q: Where have you deployed the MRS Technology?

A: We have deployed our MRS technology across various products. We started with AOI products where we launched the SQ3000™ a couple of years ago. Then we launched our metrology product, the CyberGage360 scanning and inspection system. Now we have a new Solder Paste Inspection system, the SE3000 3D SPI system. In addition to metrology and SMT, we also have a unique partnership with KLA-Tencor in the semiconductor inspection space. KLA-Tencor is a leader in semiconductor inspection and they are using the MRS technology for all of their back-end semiconductor inspection systems.

Q: What are the competitive advantages of the MRS technology?

A: Simply put, MRS technology enables extremely high accuracy, resolution and speed all at the same time. You can go around the floor and you can review the brochures of various different companies, and see that there are companies that can give you very high-speed technologies but typically they sacrifice accuracy and resolution to make the speed available, and on the other extreme you have high accuracy and resolution technologies but their speed is not good. But, with MRS technology, what it’s capable of doing is giving you extremely high speeds, at 40 or 50cm2/sec. at resolutions of sub-5 micron in X. Y dimension and sub-1 micron in Z dimension, which we think is truly unique and disruptive in the overall inspection marketplace.

Q; You have now incorporated MRS sensors into a Solder Paste Inspection system. Who are you targeting?

A: It’s really a high-end SPI product and we are really going after very demanding customers who are using 0201 metric components and very small solder pads, so like 40 micron, 50 micron solder pads. Most of the people in the world have not seen those kinds of circuits yet. These are extremely advanced semiconductor kind of companies that are looking down the road two, three years from now at what the circuits are looking like and they are getting ready for the next ten years, and really that’s what SE3000 is targeting is the next decade of very high-end manufacturing where the solder pads and 0201 metric components are going to be small and need an extremely high Gage R&R.

Q: What sort of trends are you seeing in the electronics assembly, semiconductor and general purpose metrology markets?

A: The trends we are seeing in the market are miniaturization of electronics and increasing complexities. As well, in the semiconductor industry, a lot of changes are happening with the stacking of chips in the third dimension, so many changes are happening in the marketplace all at the same time. What that is leading to, is many electronics manufacturing companies right now are not only interested in generating an inspection report, which is pass/fail type of criteria, but they also want to get measurements – the X, Y and the Z measurement of various different features they have in their circuits and in their devices. So those are the kinds of trends that led to us to look at what can we do with our Automated Optical Inspection system – our flagship SQ3000™ 3D AOI, and how to enable measurements with this product. This is why we are launching the SQ3000™ CMM. CMM stands for Coordinate Measurement Machine, so in addition to generating an inspection report, we are also providing all of the high quality X, Y and Z measurements all at the same – and much faster – seconds vs. hours traditional CMMs take.