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Posted: July 10, 2008
NexPlanar Secures $14.5 Million to Commercialize Next Generation Semiconductor CMP Pad Technology
(Nanowerk News) NexPlanar Corporation recently completed a $14.5 million round of funding to commercialize the next generation of chemical mechanical planarization (CMP) pad technology for semiconductor devices.
NexPlanar uses proprietary “nano-domain” technology which improves planarity and across wafer uniformity and can be utilized to customize the pads for specific applications. The application specific CMP pads can be tuned, for example, for sensitive structures on the device by varying the hard and soft domains of the pad. NexPlanar’s “nano-lubricants” and patented molded groove technologies allow for low stress CMP (required for the most advanced CMP applications), result in an order of magnitude fewer defects, and allow the use of low slurry consumption processing.
InterWest Partners led the round of investment. Other existing investors participated, including BlueRun Ventures, Smart Forest Ventures, Fina Ventures, Intel Capital and Entegris.
“As device geometries shrink, there must be a paradigm shift in the CMP process. Our proprietary pad technology enables advanced processes while offering significantly improved yields in existing processes,” commented Jim LaCasse, CEO and President of NexPlanar. “Our mandate is to improve the CMP yields by improving the planarity and reducing defects, while at the same time lowering cost of ownership by increasing the pad life and lowering slurry consumption.”
Strong Patent Portfolio
“We wholeheartedly believe the marketplace is ready for a new competitor,” commented Khaled Nasr of InterWest Partners. “NexPlanar’s strong patent portfolio and application specific solutions, coupled with the industry experience of a world-class management team and technical staff, will quickly position the company to become a significant player in the semiconductor industry.”
NexPlanar’s patent portfolio and technology enables new material integration in advanced devices as called for in the ITRS roadmap.
“At BlueRun Ventures we look for companies that can have a strong global presence,” said Sujit Banerjee, Partner. “NexPlanar’s technology applies to a broad range of customers in the U.S., Europe and Asia and we are excited to continue working with Jim and his team to create a world class business that leverages NexPlanar’s unique technology and BlueRun’s global network, particularly in Asia.”
The company manufactures in Hopkins, Minnesota and at its new headquarters in Hillsboro, Oregon.
About NexPlanar Corporation
NexPlanar builds the next generation of chemical mechanical planarization (CMP) pads for the semiconductor device industry. Their proprietary nano-domain technology coupled with patented molded grooves and the unique ability to tune the pads results in dramatically improved yields and lower cost of ownership with extended pad life. See http://www.nexplanar.com.