Auros Technology said on Friday that it was expecting new sales from Chinese semiconductor companies starting this year.
It is also planning to form a research center at Silicon Valley in the US to recruit talents, the company said.
Auros manufacturers semiconductor overlay measurement equipment. It launched its first kit in 2011 __ its main products are OL-800n and OL900n.
The equipment is used to measure whether materials stacked on wafers are aligned correctly.
Semiconductor wafers goes a complicated process of patterning, material stacking, etching and cleaning hundreds of times for two months. Overlay equipment shoots light and analyzes the defected light to check whether these are done correctly.
Auros began supplying its equipment to SK Hynix in 2017. As of the third quarter of 2020, SK Hyinx accounted for 98.7% of its sales.
The equipment maker was in talks with Samsung Electronics to supply its kit for CMOS image sensor production. It was also in talks with CXMT and JHICC of China and is in product demo testing stages.
Currently, the global overlay measurement market is dominated by KLA and ASML. Its is a market considered to have high-entry barrier.
Auros’ main competitor is KLA as both companies uses image based overlay (IBO) technology for their kits. ASML uses diffraction based overlay (DBO) technology. IBO can applied to the all layers in the chip making process, unlike DBO. IBO also measures fast and is precise.
Auros said its products were priced at around 88% of KLA’s. It said the lower price is due to it being less known than its rival, not because it was behind in technology.
Auros is aiming to list on KOSDAQ next month. It is planning to issue 1.9 million shares. It is hoping for a share price between 17,000 won to 21,000 won. It will commence a demand forecast from February 8 to 9. It will be listed on the bourse on February 25.
The company said it was planning to use the fund from the listing to invest 7 billion won, 10 billion won and 3 billion won in mass metrology, thin film metrology and inspection areas, respectively. The research center at Silicon Valley will be set by 2022.