OnWafer secures $7 M in venture financing

By siliconindia staff writer   |   Tuesday, 31 August 2004, 07:00 Hrs
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CALIF: Kameshwar Poolla co-founded OnWafer Technologies, a provider of novel measurement and control solutions for the semiconductor and related industries, has closed a Series C round of funding totaling $7 million.

The round was led by Newbury Ventures with additional participation from previous investors Mohr, Davidow Ventures (MDV) and ITU Ventures. Jay Morrison from Newbury Ventures joined the company's board of directors.

"Next generation metrology solutions are critical to support the industry's advancement along Moore's Law," said Jay Morrison, Newbury Ventures co-founder and managing partner. "OnWafer's system of process control is radically different from previous architectures, offering in-situ metrology that integrates seamlessly with the existing production process. We were impressed with the marquis clientele and customer traction OnWafer already has secured. Newbury is fortunate to play a role in this next exciting stage of the company."

Dr. Kameshwar Poolla, co-founder and Chief Scientist, is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. He received his B.Tech. from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay in 1980 and his Ph.D. from the University of Florida, Gainesville in 1984, both in Electrical Engineering.

"OnWafer remains focused on providing chipmakers and OEMs with solutions which overcome some of their most challenging technical roadblocks. This investment will not only enable us to expand our support and operation infrastructure required to keep pace with accelerating customer demand but also fuel development of new solutions addressing other fab-critical production and technology needs," said Rod Browning, OnWafer chief executive officer. "With Newbury joining MDV on the board we benefit from two seasoned investors with excellent track records in the semiconductor industry."

OnWafer board member and MDV general partner Rob Chaplinsky added, "The semiconductor device industry is clearly at an inflection point as geometries continue to shrink. Even a minor perturbation or disturbance can have a major impact on yields. OnWafer provides customers a more robust manufacturing process and enables them to execute on increasingly demanding roadmaps."

Historically, the available metrology technology forced semiconductor device manufacturers to infer what actually happens on the surface of the silicon wafer and try to control the manufacturing process accordingly. OnWafer Technologies has pioneered the development of a new generation of wireless semiconductor metrology tools which actually measure what occurs on the wafer surface during the manufacturing process and use this previously unavailable data to enhance the yield of the manufacturing process.

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