Unisers secures $14M to develop defect-detecting tools in chip-making

Swiss semiconductor metrology company, UNISERS, identifies invisible contamination-caused defects in semiconductor materials. The startup has raised $14M in Seed funding led by Intel Capital to accelerate the time to market.

Particle contamination during the manufacturing of semiconductor chips is leading to losses worth billions of dollars, while also contributing to the industry’s environmental footprint. Unfortunately, to date, finding the source of such contaminants is both costly and time-consuming.

UNISERS developed a particle monitoring platform that uses surface-enhanced Raman scattering to identify the source of contamination, facilitating stronger product yield and lower carbon footprint at chip manufacturing plants. Unlike other solutions, UNISERS can monitor the defectivity of individual process chemicals by detecting the size, concentration and composition of particles with cutting-edge sensitivity and molecular specificity.

The proceeds from the seed round will enable Unisers to accelerate the delivery of its commercial products to leading semiconductor partners by 2023. In addition, the company will be able to demonstrate the value of the technology in a number of further critical use cases.  Intel Capital led the round, with participation from M Ventures, RSBG Ventures and Swisscom Ventures.

“As the semiconductor industry continues to suffer from the chip shortage crisis, the pressure is on to drastically reduce the contamination of chips which compromise output,” Jennifer Ard, Managing Director and Head of Investment Operations at Intel Capital said. “UNISERS is drastically reducing the time it takes to find the source of contamination by detecting particles that were previously undetectable, unlocking new opportunities to conserve our chip supply through better contamination identification capabilities.”

“We are very excited to have closed this Seed Round with several strong investors who share our belief that our unique technology will become a must-have solution for contamination control all along the semiconductor manufacturing value chain,” said Ali Altun, CEO and founder of UNISERS.  “Each investor will support us strongly on individual domains and hence help us on our journey to become a critical player for the whole semiconductor manufacturing world”, noted the Unisers in its LinkedIn post.

UNISERS was founded on 11 April 2019 as a spin-off of ETH Zurich. Before the foundation of the company, Dr. Altun received the Pioneer Fellowship Grant from ETH Foundation which includes a special entrepreneurship education program organized by the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Lab of ETH Zurich. During its early stages, the company received awards, grants, and business coaching support from Gebert Ruef Foundation, Venture Kick (First round), Climate KIC, and the Innosuisse Core Coaching Program.

(Press release/RAN)