Nearfield Instruments (NFI) has opened its first overseas office: in Hwaseong, South Korea. The subsidiary will focus on customer service, joint development activities and R&D. According to NFI, the establishment of the Korean entity confirms the “significant customer demand” for its products. The identity of the customer hasn’t been revealed, but Samsung has previously invested in the Dutch company and Hwaseong is a major manufacturing site of this semiconductor giant.
Founded in 2016, NFI builds atomic force microscopes (AFMs) that create high-resolution 3D images of wafer surfaces by scanning them with many needles in parallel. The TNO spinoff claims a 100-fold throughput advantage over other automated single-probe AFMs targeted for in-line metrology. This high sampling rate helps semiconductor manufacturers determine lot-to-lot, wafer-to-wafer and intra-wafer process variations.
NFI already has two locations in the Netherlands: the headquarters in Rotterdam are the primary product development and system integration site, whereas the site on the High Tech Campus Eindhoven is focused on R&D and engineering of mechatronic modules and advanced motion control.