STAr Technologies and CompoundTek Collaborate to Establish Strategies for High-Volume Silicon Photonics Wafer Test
Singapore – STAr Technologies, Inc. ("STAr" for short), architects with leading technologies for semiconductor test solutions and CompundTek Pte Ltd. ("CompoundTek" for short), a global foundry services provider in emerging silicon photonics (SiPh) Solutions – have formed a strategic collaboration to develop standards and solutions for cost-effective high-volume SiPh Wafer Test. Addressing the growing need for consistency and reliability across all applications of SiPh technology, the SiPh Wafer Test aims to spearhead the development of more standard processes and facilitate wider industry adaption and innovations from design through to test and inspection.
SiPh is a technology that is not only being used to displace traditional electrical interconnects, but also for a broad range of applications, including lidar, quantum computing, and bio-sensing. Today, however, the integration of optical components on chip creates a host of new challenges in wafer-level probing of SiPh devices as large volumes of device-performance data are required to carry a design from concept to qualification and subsequently into production.
Currently, SiPh testing is fragmented with no recognised standards. Most of the companies have homegrown SiPh bench solution which is good for small scale engineering characterisation during the design verification phase, but inefficient for the high-throughput and low-cost test required for testing during the mass production phase. There are no independent SiPh wafer test service provider with a cost efficient solution to address this market gap. A test standards and cost efficient solution will help the industry to drive down the cost of product from prototyping to mass manufacturing, and accelerate their time to market.
“To accelerate the market wider adoption of wafer-level Silicon Photonics tests - cost and efficiencies must be improved. To do so, we believe it is necessary to take a holistic approach by establishing partnerships that leverage expertise within the test technology value chain and that of the fabrication process. It is this synergy of measurement instrumentation, positioning and commercialisation technologies that will further standardise the way testing is done, the way the chip is laid out for ease of tests - that both CompoundTek and STAr effectively brings to the marketplace,” explained Raj Kumar, chief executive officer of CompoundTek, of the collaboration.
Dr. Jeffrey Lam, GM & VP of Engineering of STAr Technologies adds, "When you think of working in a lab on an initial prototype and spending a few hours to set up and align a single device for measurements, it seems feasible. It is not the case however, in high-volume SiPh manufacturing where time- and effort-intensive methods are not practical, and time-to-market is a critical factor. This has inhabited the rapid adoption of SiPh, a challenge we aim to effectively address with methods and strategies that have a unique relative emphasis on accuracy, throughput, and test flexibility, through our combined SiPh Wafer Test approach."