Zurich-based UNISERS, a developer of wafer inspection and particle detection solutions for semiconductor materials, announced on Thursday that it has secured $14M (approximately €13M) in a Seed round of funding led by Intel Capital.
Participating investors include M Ventures, RSBG Ventures, and Swisscom Ventures.
The capital will enable UNISERS to accelerate the delivery of its commercial products to customers by 2023.
”We are very excited to have closed this Seed Round with several strong investors who share our belief that our unique technology will become a must-have solution for contamination control all along the semiconductor manufacturing value chain,” says Ali Altun, CEO and founder of UNISERS.
Millions of dollars are lost due to particle contamination in the semiconductor chip production process, which also harms the environment.
However, finding the source of such contaminants is both costly and time-consuming.
UNISERS: Identifies invisible contamination
Ali O. Altun and Timo Schneider founded UNISERS in 2019 as a spin-off of ETH Zurich to find the source of every particle on a wafer.
The Swiss company has developed wafer inspection and particle detection solutions to help semiconductor fabrication plants improve production yields.
The company’s particle monitoring platform uses surface-enhanced Raman scattering to identify the source of contamination, facilitating stronger product yield and lower carbon footprint at chip manufacturing plants.
UNISERS says it can monitor the defectivity of individual process chemicals by detecting the size, concentration, and composition of the particles with cutting-edge sensitivity and molecular specificity.
Over three decades, Intel Capital has invested more than $20B in the future of computing, funding standout, early-stage startups across four key areas of the tech ecosystem; Silicon, Frontier, Devices, and Cloud.
“As the semiconductor industry continues to suffer from the chip shortage crisis, the pressure is on to drastically reduce the contamination of chips which compromise output,” Jennifer Ard, Managing Director and Head of Investment Operations at Intel Capital said.
“UNISERS is drastically reducing the time it takes to find the source of contamination by detecting particles that were previously undetectable, unlocking new opportunities to conserve our chip supply through better contamination identification capabilities.”
“The newest nodes will require tools to characterize increasingly smaller particles, not just in the semiconductor fab, but across the entire supply chain, including all process chemicals that feed into chip manufacturing,” adds Owen Lozman, Managing Director of M Ventures.
“Contamination control through advanced metrology solutions will require the collaboration of foundries, tool makers, and material suppliers, and we believe in UNISERS as one of the key enablers towards this vision.”