SPTS Technologies, a supplier of advanced wafer processing solutions for the global semiconductor industry and related markets, announced this week that it has acquired XACTIX, a provider of xenon difluoride (XeF2) based release etch technology. XACTIX is located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Manufacturing MEMS devices such as microphones, inertial sensors and RF switches, often requires a "release etch" step to remove a sacrificial layer to allow free movement of specific parts of the mechanical structure. SPTS said that the acquisition strengthens its MEMS vapor release etch IP and product portfolio.
By adding the XACTIX product line to its HF vapor phase release offering, SPTS now supports release technologies for silicon/molybdenum/germanium and silicon oxide sacrificial layers. Both processes offer advantages over traditional wet etch solutions because they eliminate "stiction" between moving parts, which can make precision MEMS devices inoperable.
SPTS and XACTIX jointly developed the CVE single wafer XeF2 release etch module and have shared sales and marketing channels over a number of years.
"Bringing XACTIX's technology and product portfolio into the SPTS family is a natural and logical step for us," said William Johnson, president and CEO at SPTS. "This expands our product offering in MEMS release etch and adds to our MEMS toolbox."
Kyle Lebouitz, founder and CTO of XACTIX echoed these sentiments, "This evolution of the long-standing relationship between SPTS and XACTIX will expand our opportunities in the MEMS market, and provide our customers with an enlarged and comprehensive sales and support infrastructure."
XACTIX operations and personnel will now become part of SPTS' Release Etch Division, also based in Pennsylvania.
SPTS Technologies designs, manufactures, sells, and supports etch, PVD, CVD and thermal wafer processing solutions for the MEMS, advanced packaging, LED, high speed RF on GaAs, and power management device markets. With manufacturing facilities in Newport, Wales, Allentown, Pennsylvania, and San Jose, California, the company operates across 19 countries in Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific.