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Home > Press > LatticeGear Sells First LatticeAx 300 Cleaving System to X-FAB: LatticeAx 300 provides fast, accurate cross-sectioning of samples for analysis — more accurately than manual methods and faster and less expensively than automated systems
LatticeGear, a manufacturer of cost-effective cleaving solutions for semiconductor, solar and general materials analysis, announced today that it has shipped the first of its new LatticeAx™ 300 cleaving systems to X-FAB Silicon Foundries, a leading analog/mixed signal specialty foundry based in Erfurt, Germany.
According to Ekkehart Brandstädt, X-FAB's failure analysis team leader, "The LatticeAx is filling our need for cleaving accuracy and repeatability that goes beyond what can be achieved manually. It is less expensive, yet provides higher throughput, than automated microcleaving. With LatticeAx, which we often use for MEMS wafers with complicated structures, our lab is processing more cross-sections while using the lower throughput, automated microcleaver for jobs that require sub-micron accuracy. The introduction of the LatticeAx into our workflow has improved the total productivity and reduced the cost-per-cleave in our failure analysis lab."
Manufacturers of semiconductors, solar cells, MEMS and other microelectronic devices use LatticeGear products to cross-section samples with high accuracy and quality for imaging in a scanning electron microscope (SEM). LatticeGear's flagship product line, the LatticeAx, uses a shallow indent and slow cleave method. Manual approaches, which use a scribe mark to initiate the cleave, are fast and inexpensive, but offer limited accuracy and reliability. Automated systems with image processing and robotics can cleave to sub-micron accuracy, but are expensive, slow and pose many sample restrictions. The LatticeAx 300 reliably delivers ten-micrometer placement accuracy in just five minutes at a fraction of the cost of automated systems.
LatticeGear's Efrat Moyal, Co-founder, states, "The key to the accuracy and quality of LatticeAx 300 is the integration of the controlled indentation and cleaving process with an advanced vision package and precise movement in X/Y. A manual scribe mark is essentially a scratch, and on the microscopic level, it is composed of many micro fractures that can initiate cleaves in slightly different locations and directions. The LatticeAx micro indenter uses a precisely-controlled shape and pressure to initiate an accurate, predictable, high-quality cleave.
Efrat adds, "We complete the cleave by applying carefully-controlled pressure to the wafer. You can actually hear the cleave progress as it splits the wafer - very different from the sharp crack you hear with a manual cleave. We have even made very high-quality cleaves in non-crystalline substrates, such as glass, which we can only attribute to the repeatability and control of the indenting and cleaving process."
About LatticeGear, LLC
LatticeGear provides cleaving solutions that offer high productivity and throughput, and enable customers to obtain superior analytical results. Its cleaving tools and accessories that offer a low cost-of-ownership (COO) with a high return on investment for the semiconductor, solar and general materials markets. Customers are able to seamlessly turn whole wafers into prepared samples that are suitable for analysis using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), surface analysis and optical-based equipment, or for further sample preparation in a focused ion beam (FIB), broad beam polishing / milling, or using mechanical tools. LatticeGear’s flagship product, the patent-pending LatticeAx™, features a new ‘Indent and Cleave’ methodology that bridges the gap between manual scribing and fully-automated cleaving. It addresses the market need for uniform, repeatable, accurate and high-quality cleaving results at lower capital and COO costs. For more information visit: www.latticegear.com.
X-FAB is the leading analog/mixed-signal foundry group manufacturing silicon wafers for analog-digital integrated circuits (mixed-signal ICs). X-FAB maintains wafer production facilities in Erfurt, Dresden and Itzehoe (Germany); Lubbock, Texas (US); and Kuching, Sarawak (Malaysia). It employs approximately 2,400 people worldwide. It manufactures wafers based on advanced modular CMOS and BiCMOS processes with technologies ranging from 1.0 to 0.13 micrometers, for applications primarily in the automotive, communications, consumer and industrial sectors. For more information, please visit www.xfab.com.
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