Video: Interview With Dr. Subodh Kulkarni, President and CEO, CyberOptics

Dr. Kulkarni highlights how CyberOptics improves yields and uptime in semiconductor FABs and highlights how the proprietary Multi-Reflection Suppression (MRS) technology is integrated in technology platforms in semiconductor, electronics assembly and metrology markets. Dr. Kulkarni also shares an update on R&D efforts that could significantly benefit front-end semiconductor customers.

With Sarah Solimon at Semicon West

SS: We’re here to talk about all things CyberOptics, starting with an update on your vision for CyberOptics.
SK: CyberOptics is fundamentally a sensor technology company that plays in three vertical markets. We make high precision, high accuracy, quality sensors for semiconductor, which is why we are here, Surface Mount Technology (SMT); printed circuit board manufacturing and metrology which is measurement of things for industrial applications.

SS: Let’s talk about some of the progress you’ve made in your three verticals.
SK: The two growth drivers we have are what we call the MRS sensor technology (Multi-Reflection Suppression), and WaferSense and ReticleSense Sensor technology. So MRS is being commercialized in all three verticals – Semiconductor (in KLA-Tencor’s Back-End Semi Packaging Inspection system), SMT (SQ3000 3D AOI) and Metrology (CyberGage360). WaferSense and ReticleSense by its very nature is for the semiconductor vertical. We have made great progress commercializing both of these technologies, new products, exciting differentiation, higher speed accuracy for MRS and better yields and uptime with WaferSense and ReticleSense.

SS: Along with growth comes more benefits for your customers, so what kind of benefits are you now delivering for your customer base?
SK: Our sensors enable our customers to measure things significantly faster and more accurately than anything that they have used before and that obviously has huge ramifications for our customers – they save time, save money and improve their productivity. We are enabling measurements and inspections for things that could not be inspected by machine vision before. So we are creating better yields for customers right now. Many of the high end smart phones and other high end consumer electronics that are being manufactured today – all of them are getting inspected with our proprietary MRS sensors and those things are enabling the quality of the products that we are already using right now.

SS: What about the latest developments within MRS sensor technology?
SK: We are using digital projectors and digital cameras to enable the high accuracy and high speed. What we continue to do is measure things that are smaller in feature sizes, so right now the stuff that is commercial with MRS is more like 100 microns and above, and in our lab we are beginning to do 50 micron type measurements and that’s enabling new applications.

(Aside from MRS), With the WaferSense portfolio, we continue to increase the number of applications so one of the products that’s propelling our growth is the Auto Multi Sensor which has leveling, vibration and relative humidity measurement sensing. So again, we are increasing the number of applications, we are coming out with thinner products so they can go into equipment where the load lock has a finer gap.

SS: So even more benefits offered by CyberOptics. So are there any applications in front end semiconductor for MRS?
SK: With next generation of MRS sensors, we will be able to measure smaller features and once we are below 10 micron, we will get into what we call the front-end inspection applications and that will open up a lot of new applications such as copper pillar, TSVs, interconnects and so on.

SS: How about it’s potential use for coordinate measurement?
SK: Very recently we have enabled our 3D AOI system (SQ3000), to not only do inspection but also do measurement in addition to inspection. That enables our customers to do a lot more than just inspection and deciding whether it’s a pass or fail. So certainly we are getting a lot of traction with the measurement capability. It’s the first time any Automated Optical Inspection (AOI) System, at that speed, can do not only inspection but measurements in addition to inspection.

SS: What can we expect in the future?
SK: We definitely expect to continue to grow the company given the technology platforms that we have, both the WaferSense and ReticleSense platform and the MRS platform. The company is doing great and our job is to accelerate the growth from where we are and service our customers with better products and better technologies.

SS: Wonderful. Well great news here from CyberOptics. Keep up the good work and all of the progression that you’re making in this industry. To learn more about CyberOptics, you can log on to