Semiconductor Equipment Development

An Owens Design Specialty

  • 78 unique designs for 47 Semiconductor customers
  • Over 860 systems shipped worldwide

Semiconductor Equipment Development

Founded in 1983 and located in Silicon Valley, Owens Design has become synonymous with complex, custom development of semiconductor equipment.

Owens Design will accelerate your next-generation technologies from lab-to-fab: from a prototype design and built to a fab-ready product to volume manufacturing for inspection and metrology tools as well as wafer processing and handling systems.

For over 40 years, Owens Design has successfully delivered hundreds of tools to all major Semiconductor fabs around the world with a record of 100% delivery. Our team of highly skilled engineers design and build protoypes based on proven platforms to accelerate and scale your product development and manufacturing operations, efficiently while minimizing risk.

Semiconductor Equipment Development Process

At Owens Design, we start with an exploratory process that differentiates us from other equipment development providers. Semiconductor equipment product development can be very expensive, so we have developed a phased development process to help our customers determine the best approach and architect a cost-effective solution.

This multi-phased process minimizes roadblocks later on in the development process.

Semiconductor 6 axis mechanism for bright field inspection. With ISO class 2 cleanliness in very compact space.

1. Develop a Cost-Free ROM*

Owens Design estimates the cost to design and build the prototype along with cost for production systems.


2. Phase I

If this fits the customer, Owens Design moves on to Phase 1 which is a 4 - 6 week in-depth collaborative process between the customer and Owens Design. This phase helps to reduce risk and accelerate the development cycle by establishing clear goals and specifications and selecting the overall architecture.


3. Tool Development

Following Phase 1, the customer and Owens Design will move on with the tool development and build.

*rough order of magnitude cost (+/- 25%)

Semiconductor Equipment Development Experience

We deliver product designs, prototype builds, CIP, customer specials and volume manufacturing services for the semiconductor and display original capital equipment (OEM) industries.

Metrology and inspection equipment is an Owens Design specialty:

  • Delivery of 20 product lines and 520+ shipped systems
  • Reorders range between 4 to 234 units
  • Two start-ups acquired by Tier 1 manufacturers
  • Longest customer relationship is 15 years

Additional expertise:

  • Front-end vacuum process equipment such as etch and deposition
  • Back-end equipment including bonding, cleaning, testing, and wafer-level-packaging
  • Atmospheric processing tools such as wet clean and printing

Application Capabilities

  • Substrate Handling: thick, thin and bonded wafer pairs, backside, edge and non-contact wafer handling
  • Carrier Handling: film frames, dies and die trays, FOUPs, SMIF pods, cassettes, multiple generations of display glass, and flexible roll-to-roll web
  • Controlled Environments
    • Pressure regimes from atmospheric to ultra-high (10-6torr) vacuum
    • Thermal, vibration, humidity, O2, B-field, light tight management
    • Contamination: ISO Class 1, ISO 2 with mechanisms
  • Precision alignment, staging, motion control micron-level repeatability
  • Standards compliance, EFEM & SECS/GEM integration
  • Full systems testing, drop ship directly to fabs
  • Submicron wafer handling accuracy/precision
  • Standards compliance S2, S8 and CE
  • Production qualified by end users all over the world, including the world’s largest fabs in the USA, Korea, Taiwan, Europe, and China
  • Trusted by fabs for next generation product testing
semiconductor high vacuum e-beam metrology tool
Semiconductor wafer chuck

Semiconductor Equipment Development Case Studies

Owens Design has developed custom solutions to accelerate semiconductor equipment manufacturer time-to-market worldwide. A sample of our projects include:

Wafer flips to any orientation from 0° to 360°

Wafer Flipper Module

Owens Design produced a robust yet compact wafer flipper module that accurately orients the substrate in a fast, clean reliable manner…


Wafer Heating & Cooling Module

Owens Design produced a robust yet compact wafer flipper module that accurately…

Operator loading FOUP onto custom EFEM

Semiconductor Platform for Metrology & Inspection

Owens Design has developed 19 product lines and shipped over 400 tools…

Wafer inspection 6-axis motion clean room

Custom Wafer Handling Systems

The challenges in providing custom wafer handling system has never been greater…