Interview: Dr. Subodh Kulkarni – CyberOptics

■ Trevor Galbraith (right) interviewed Dr Subodh Kulkarni, President and CEO, CyberOptics at IPC APEX.

Trevor Galbraith interviewed Dr. Subodh Kulkarni, President and CEO, CyberOptics at IPC APEX and discussed the importance of metrology in the inspection process. 

You have added the 3D CMM to your SQ3000 AOI system. Please explain what that is and how it works?

We have taken on proprietary multi-reflection separation 3D sensing technology that we commercialized in SQ3000, our 3D AOI system. We have now added CMM functionality. CMM stands for Coordinate Measuring Machine. Essentially what we have done is come up with an in-line CMM that can measure things, not just visually inspect things, very accurately, very fast and in a very easy to use manner. We believe it is the world’s first in-line CMM that can measure any object in less than ten seconds. You can get hundreds of thousands of dimensions all at the same time. So it is a truly unique product.

And actually very necessary because with smart factory integration and the need for improving the processes, you need to use real data.

You’re right. With the smart factory, there is the need for, not just saying whether the part is good or bad, but if it is bad, why is it bad, what precise measurements are bad, and you need to feed that data back to the root cause as soon as possible, so you do not create further defects. So it critical in the future smart factories to have measurements, not just inspection.

I have noticed looking at these machines, the resolution is quite incredible and some of the capability is staggering. Can we get a demonstration of how this works?

We’ll show you how to put any part here and inspect it. What you will see on the screen is a typical socket metrology application. In socket metrology, we are taking thousands of pins that are on a circuit board and before a CPU or GPU is mounted, you want to make sure all those pins are correct in heights, dimensions and angles. These are what measurements are needed. [demonstration begins] In this particular application what we are looking at is a socket metrology application. On the screen you see thousands of pins on the right-hand side. In the 3D rendition are the actual shapes and heights of the pins. These are metallic pins that are ultimately going to make contact with the solder bumps on the CPU/GPU. So typically today, each CPU/GPU is mounted into any system with these sockets. You want to use that so you do don’t waste the CPU/GPU because of some basic component of low value – CPU/GPUs are much more expensive.

You must make sure the pins are in correctly so that you get the right contact and conductivity and everything else.

Correct. You want to make sure that all those thousands of pins are accurate before you bring the CPU/GPU in play.

Normally, what is being done today is a CMM type operation where they are doing a sampling of the pins which takes hours and it is not accurate enough and you still do not get a 100-percent inspection. With CMM inspection, you can get 100-percent inspection of all those hundreds of thousands of pins in the span of 10 or 15 seconds and you assure everyone the pins are in the correct position before you bring the CPU/GPU in play.

In the demonstration, we are taking a look at a few pins and you can see the ones with the red heights are obviously off-scale, those are the bad pins and the ones where the shape looks good, those are the good pins. You are able to very quickly inspect and measure which pins are good and which are not and if they are not good, how they are not good. That’s what we are doing.

So that is the first 3D metrology in-line CMM. You also have another new machine here which is the SE3000 3D SPI system. What are the key features of this new machine?

We are very proud of launching the new 3D SPI avatar MRS proprietary sensing technology. We have leveraged a sensor technology which gives us the highest-resolution, accuracy and speed – all at the same time. We have put it in a SPI system where the value preposition is significantly better for gauge R&R – reproducibility and repeatability. High-end SPI systems, including our own, usually run at about four- to five-percent gauge R&R @ 6 sigma. This system is running at less than two-percent R&R @ 6 sigma. The smaller the number, the better. So a factor of two to three better than the best SPI systems out there right now. This can also measure very small pads. For high-end customers who have extremely advanced electronic circuits, where the pads are getting smaller, the components are getting smaller and at the same time, the reproducibility and accuracy has to be extremely high, this is the answer for their needs.

The beauty of the CyberOptics systems is that you develop your own sensors so you have complete control of that part of the process.

Correct. We are fundamentally a sensing technology company. Our focus is really on 3D, high-precision, proprietary sensing technologies. Our secret sauce is the algorithms we have in our high-precision 3D sensors. That is what differentiates us from the generic competition.

A very innovative company and it is great to see you here breaking new ground with the metrology system here. Thank you very much for showing it to us and thank you for joining us.

Thank you and we appreciate your interest. 

–TREVOR GALBRAITH

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