Semiconductor inspection equipment maker Nextin has supplied its new kit to SK Hynix, TheElec has learned.
SK Hynix was testing the demo version. If it scores highly in the evaluation, Nextin may supply more of them next year for a boost in sales.
The demo version of inspection equipment Aegis 2 was applied to SK Hynix’s production line in November. The new kit has 30% increased performance compared to Aegis DP.
Aegis DP costed 2.5 billion won and Aegis 2 is thought to cost slightly higher at around 3 billion won. This is third of the price of the same equipment produce by US’ KLA.
Nextin’s kit is use to find defects on wafers. It takes photos at different times and check for pattern changes. Depending on what kind of light is used, the equipment is divided to bright field and dark field. Bright filed shoots the light vertically and uses the reflected light to draw the patterns. Dark field shoots the light tilted and uses the scattered light to draw the patterns.
Aegis 2 supports both bright field and dark field. KLA and Hitachi are dominating the dark filed equipment market. KLA is estimated to have a market share of 90%.
Nextin was also developing a bright field equipment and is aiming to commercialize them in 2023. Bright filed equipment require more sophisticated technology compared to dark field as the wavelengths of the light are shorter. KLA and Applied Materials are leading the bright field market.
Nextin has opened regional offices in the US and China this year. It has supplied Aegis DP to Chinese chip firms YMTC and JHICC.