Established in 1995, Afore Oy is an industry pioneer and provider of application-specific test solutions for MEMS and semiconductor devices based in Finland. Since 2018, the company belongs to AEM Holdings, Singapore, benefiting from the global presence of the corporation. “Afore Oy is now becoming AEM Afore Wafer Level Test Solutions, the part of AEM specializing in the development of customer specific wafer level final and system test solutions for environmental and motion sensors, as well as other semiconductor devices,” says Chandran Nair, CEO, AEM Afore Wafer Level Test Solutions.
He goes on to mention that chips are becoming more complex, and companies are moving towards heterogeneous packaging, where a single package has multi-node IP blocks. Therefore, the ability to thoroughly test complex products is crucial. The shrinking device and package sizes bring about many challenges in Final Test and Calibration Solutions, with complex devices demanding more test requirements. To this end, AEM focuses on customer-specific testing needs and provides application-specific test solutions for each purpose. This enables not only cost-efficient test solutions but also opens opportunities for process optimization and reduction of cost of test.
At AEM, we focus on customer specific testing needs and provide application specific test solutions for each purpose
AEM Afore Wafer Level Test Solutions provides the capability to test and calibrate MEMS sensors in wafer-level packages. Given that the company’s solutions are based on a wafer probing platform rather than pick and place technology, shrinking device sizes are not a concern. In addition, there is no tooling needed for the handling of new devices. Both advantages combined bring product flexibility today, the freedom that the systems will be capable of handling tomorrow’s devices, and an attractive Cost of Test. “Our mission is to provide the most comprehensive semiconductor and electronics test solutions based on the best-in-class technologies, processes, and customer support,” states Vesa Henttonen, the CTO of AEM Afore Wafer Level Test Solutions. “Our key differentiation is that we work closely with our customers to develop application specific test and handling solutions that meet their needs in a scalable manner from lab to production.”
As an example, AEM Afore Wafer Level Test Solutions has developed a manufacturing process for the new product to be production worthy. “We help a customer by offering wafer prober with vacuum environment. Products are tested without encapsulation on wafer level, but still on same environments as is final package,” says Ari Kuukkala, the General Manager of AEM Afore Wafer Level Test Solutions. The traditional approach would have been to package dies individually in ceramic packages, which is slow and costly and therefore done typically only for a couple hundred dies on wafer as samples. With AEM Afore Wafer Level Test Solutions’ approach, customer can probe the whole wafer through and gain statistical data from tens of thousands of devices with minimum effort.
What further differentiates AEM is its global presence. “We are currently working on expanding our offering into solutions for other types of sensors and semiconductor devices. We are also expanding our market share within the existing solutions for environmental and inertial sensors,” mentions Nair. With such a focus on innovation, AEM achieved its highest revenue year on record last year despite the pandemic.
Currently, AEM has accelerated the development of new capabilities to its systems. Leveraging AEM’s worldwide presence, the company can now offer global support for its high-performance MEMS test solutions. AEM’s global manufacturing and supply chain also enables Afore to take advantage of production efficiencies as its business scales.