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ClassOne sees upturn in plating sales for VCSEL devices

Semiconductor equipment manufacturer ClassOne Technology has been selling its Solstice electroplating systems to the industry’s leading providers of VCSEL (Vertical-Cavity Surface-Emitting Laser) devices in recent months.

“This is an important trend. We’re observing unprecedented demand for VCSEL manufacturing capacity to support 3D sensing, fibre-optic communications, and laser-based materials processing,” said ClassOne Group CEO, Byron Exarcos.

“At the same time, we see that compound semiconductor manufacturers are migrating production from wet-benches to automated single-wafer plating. The strong upturn in our Solstice sales reflects this.”

ClassOne has developed several Solstice processing chambers that are of particular interest to VCSEL manufacturers who require plating using materials such as Gold, Nickel or Copper.

“Compound semiconductor makers are looking for maximum flexibility,” said Exarcos. “They like the fact that Solstice can run multiple wafer sizes simultaneously, and that the platform can be configured for a wide variety of wet processes beyond electroplating.

“These include Metal Lift Off, Resist Strip, Gold Deplate, UBM Etch, KOH Etch, Anodizing, and more—all from a single automated platform. We call this Plating-Plus™, and it can eliminate the need to purchase additional downstream tools.”

Solstice is a family of electroplating tools that includes Solstice S8 and S4, which are 8- and 4-chamber systems that can deliver throughputs of up to 75 wph.

Multiple wet-process chambers enable the tools to perform multiple processes in-line simultaneously. ClassOne also offers the semi-automated Solstice LT specifically for process development and low-volume applications.