Hprobe, a provider of turnkey semiconductor Automatic Test Equipment (ATE) for magnetic devices, today announced the establishment of a subsidiary company, Hprobe GmbH located in Cologne, Germany. The new subsidiary, which marks Hprobe’s first expansion outside of France, will sell, promote, and provide technical support in Germany. Concurrent to this announcement, Hprobe GmbH received its first order from Fraunhofer IPMS (Institute for Photonic Microsystems, Dresden), a worldwide leader in research and development services for electronic and photonic systems.
Fraunhofer IPMS has ordered an IBEX Parametric Tester developed by Hprobe for its business unit Center Nanoelectronic Technologies (CNT), carrying out applied research on 300mm wafers for IC manufacturers, suppliers, equipment manufacturers and R&D partners. The IBEX is mounted in a Precio™ XL, the latest 300mm fully automated wafer prober from leading semiconductor equipment manufacturer Tokyo Electron Ltd. (TEL), dedicated to wafer level testing of magnetic devices and operating at high throughput.
Dr Maik Wagner-Reetz, Head of Spintronics activities at Fraunhofer IPMS, emphasizes the importance of this tester: “The acquisition of this automatic tester under magnetic field is complementary to our recent investments in manufacturing and testing equipment for MRAM. Combined with our flexible options for PVD, the Hprobe IBEX tester strengthens the performance of our spintronic developments thanks to its high-speed testing capabilities on 300mm wafers. With this dedicated production and test line, we will be able to significantly expand our future business for our customers in the field of MRAM developments and beyond.”
Laurent Lebrun, CEO of Hprobe will lead the German office. Hprobe GmbH, which already has its first employee, will soon hire an application field engineer to work very closely with customers. “We are delighted to be opening the subsidiary Hprobe GmbH, which will enable us to further strengthen our presence in Germany,” said Laurent Lebrun. “We will immediately build our business in this important region, providing expanded and enhanced services and support to our customers and prospects in the region. Our first contract with the Fraunhofer IPMS marks an important step in the development of our role in Germany’s industry-leading microelectronics market.”
Christian Ziach, Investment Manager at High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF), a public-private venture capital investment firm based in Germany that invested in the company over the last two years added, “We are happy to see Hprobe established in Germany, enabling it to be close to German customers and our extensive semiconductor industry ecosystem. We maintain close relations with Hprobe, German foundries and magnetic sensors manufacturers for the automotive industry.”
Since its debuts, Hprobe has ramped its infrastructure to become a leader in testing of equipment for magnetic devices, including memory devices and magnetic sensors. The company has unique patented technologies of multidimensional magnetic field generators with excellent magnetic field sweep speed and high field intensity. The electrical probing can generate any pattern of 3D magnetic field. At its headquarters in France, Hprobe produces equipment that serves global markets, with sales in Belgium, Taiwan, the U.S., and China.