Nanometrics Marks 40th Anniversary and Four Decades of SEMI Membership
By Andrew H. Shih, Nanometrics
This year, 2015, marks Nanometrics’ 40th anniversary since our founding in 1975 as well as our 38th year exhibiting at SEMICON West. As we celebrate four decades serving the global semiconductor manufacturing industry, I would like to reflect on the many ways that we, as well as our industry peers, have benefited from our long-standing membership in SEMI.
Our 38 consecutive years exhibiting at SEMICON West since our first appearance in 1978 offers unique perspective. Nanometrics’ growth and development over the last four decades in many ways parallels the evolution that SEMI and SEMICON West has undergone in that time frame.
Industry Old-timers and Elder Statesmen will recall the days when a young, rapidly growing, and dynamic industry held SEMICON West at the relatively informal (and some might characterize as rustic) San Mateo Fairgrounds. The 1970s and 1980s marked a period of not only rapid growth, but also rapid changes in technology, as well as the emergence of an established equipment and materials supplier ecosystem.
SEMICON West then, provided fertile ground for Nanometrics to engage with device manufacturers to enhance our understanding of their needs with respect to metrology and process control. It also provided the platform for many product launches, including the landmark Nanospec film metrology tool and Nanometrics’ original critical dimension measurement tools, whose legacy lives on today in our Atlas II+, Impulse, and Trajectory T3 solutions for thickness and optical CD metrology at the most advanced technology nodes.
The move to the more formal environment of San Francisco’s Moscone Center in the early ‘90s in many ways reflected a maturing semiconductor industry that drove the global consumer electronics and PC revolution. SEMICON West at Moscone had glitz and glamour and served as a primary meeting place where Nanometrics shared its latest innovations with customers and gained insights from those same customers on their technology and business roadmaps. Significant product launches in this period included the Nanospec 8000 series, which, while continuing to focus on technology innovation, emphasized the growing importance of automation to support the productivity needs of the industry and the tighter integration of metrology inline in the wafer fabrication production flow.
Today, SEMICON West continues to hold a central place in our Nanometrics annual calendar. It remains a convenient and efficient forum for customer interactions, and has also become an important venue for us to engage our component and sub-system supply chain partners. Additionally, the technical programs serve as an excellent resource to help us identify emerging opportunities in adjacent market spaces.
Beyond SEMICON West and the other regional SEMICONs, other SEMI activities, particularly Standards and Technical Programs, have been of great benefit to Nanometrics over the years. In particular, Standards have enabled all participants to gain an equal footing without regard to size. The collaboration framework from Standards has lowered development costs for all SEMI members.
As Nanometrics’ celebrates this significant milestone in our history, it is worth noting that it has been a history, in part, shaped by our membership in SEMI. We have evolved, as the industry has, and SEMI has been there in supporting us in navigating this evolution.
Nanometrics will be presenting at SEMICON West 2015 on the TechXpot South presentation stage as part of the Materials Session: Contamination Control in the Sub-20nm Era.
Andrew H. Shih is director of Corporate Marketing, Research and Analytics with Nanometrics. Nanometrics is a leading provider of advanced, high-performance process control metrology and inspection systems used primarily in the fabrication of semiconductors and other solid-state devices, such as data storage components and discretes including high-brightness LEDs and power management components.
June 30, 2015