Nextin, the semiconductor wafer inspection equipment making subsidiary of APS Holdings, aims to diversify its current revenue stream that is lopsided towards SK Hynix, the company said.
The company, which is planning to go public on KOSDAQ in October, said it expected sales from Samsung Electronics and YMTC to increase significantly this year.
Nextin was founded in 2010. It developed South Korea’s first 2D wafer pattern defect inspection equipment dubbed Aegis in 2014. Aegis uses what the company calls deep ultraviolet (UV), which has shorter wavelength compared to conventional UV, to film the surface of the wafer and compares it with a completed, defect-free wafer to find defects.
Wafer that are being processed are randomly put into Aegis for inspection. This kind of pattern inspection is considered a core process in semiconductor production.
Nextin began supplying Aegis to SK Hynix in 2016 and the deal accounts for the majority of its current sales. The company also began supplying them to Samsung Electronics last year.
The firm was commencing sales activity and product demos for semiconductor companies in the US and China as well, it said.
It has begun to gain sales from YMTC and JHICC of China starting in 2020. JHICC is likely not help much in sales as the company is being crippled by US sanctions.
But YMTC has recently succeeded in producing 3D NAND Flash is backed by the Chinese government. The Chinese chip giant will likely contribute greatly to Nextin’s sales going forward.
Nextin’s rivals are KLA of the US and Hitachi of Japan. KLA has a 100% market share in overseas market. Hitachi’s goods are used by South Korean chip companies.
Nextin said its own equipment had level inspection sensitivity but was 10% faster compared to the KLA9xxx series. The South Korean company also said KLA equipment were two to three times more expensive than its own.
Nextin also said that its own equipment had far superior sensitivity and speed compared to Hitachi’s and was ahead by over 5 years in terms of technology.
KLA launched the KLA9980 in 2018 that increased inspection speed by 10%. Nextin launched the Aegis 2 in June that has improved inspection sensitivity and 10% increase in speed compared to its predecessor to match this.
Nextin plans to issue 320,000 new shares in its IPO. Its asking retail is currently between 61,500 won to 75,400 won. It is planning to secure 19.7 billion won to 24.1 billion won in funding. The demand forecast for the IPO will run on September 18 and 21. Subscription will run from September 24 to 25. The company will go public on October. It said it will half of the secured fund to research and development.
Nextin was currently developing 3D wafer pattern inspection equipment called Iris. It will be able to discern whether the hole in through silicon via process has been properly punched in. When Iris is completed, it will be the world’s first such equipment, the company claimed. The equipment was suppose to be completed by the summer this year but has been postponed to 2021.