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SPTS Acquires XACTIX Inc.

Newport, UK-based SPTS Technologies, a supplier of wafer processing solutions for the global semiconductor industry, today announced it acquired XACTIX Inc., the provider of xenon difluoride (XeF2)-based release etch technology. 


Manufacturing micro-electromechanical systems (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, according to SPTS.

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, the company reports.

Both processes offer advantages over traditional wet etch solutions because they eliminate “stiction” between moving parts, which can make precision MEMS devices inoperable, according to SPTS.

SPTS, which has its US headquarters in San Jose, Calif., and XACTIX, Pittsburgh, Pa., jointly developed the CVE single wafer XeF2 release etch module and have shared sales/marketing channels over a number of years. 

XACTIX operations and personnel will now become part of SPTS’ Release Etch Division, based in Pennsylvania.