Chip production equipment maker Nextin is aiming to double its share in the global market for dark field inspection equipment.
Nextin CEO Park Tae-hoon told TheElec on Wednesday that it was aiming to increase its share to 10% this year from last year’s 5%.
This is despite the current downturn of the global chip market.
In 2022, Nextin recorded 116.1 billion won in revenue and 58.3 billion won in operating income, 103% and 164% increases respectively from 2021.
This was largely thanks to the trade war between the US and China. US fab equipment giant KLA, a leader in optical inspection equipment, saw its sales in China slow down from the conflict.
Park also claimed that the technology gap between Nextin and its main rival was narrowing.
Bright field inspection uses light reflected from the wafer for measurement while dark field uses scattered light. Dark field lacks in detail but can inspection faster than bright field.
KLA is a leader in dark field inspection equipment with over 90% market share.
The Nextin CEO believes the South Korean company can secure 10% market share this year and up to 30% in the next three to four years.
Like its rival, Nextin plans to launch a new model of dark field inspection equipment every two years, Park said.
Its latest, Aegis-III, was received well by customers, the CEO said, and the company expects the shipment to go up going forward.
Nextin was also working to expand its customer base outside of South Korea to China, then the US, Japan, and Europe.
It also held talks for a potential supply with NAND maker Kioxia recently, the CEO said.
Nextin is also planning to ship its 3D inspection kit for 3D NAND, called Iris II, during the first half of this year.
It is also planning to test its static remover, which can be used in EUV process, with a customer this year.