Viewpoint - Siamak Salimy
February 12, 2021

VIEWPOINT 2021: Siamak Salimy, CTO/Co-Founder, Hprobe

VIEWPOINT 2021: Siamak Salimy, CTO/Co-Founder, Hprobe
Siamak Salimy, CTO/Co-Founder, Hprobe
Despite initial market uncertainties, the societal changes wrought by the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of emerging memory technologies. Like people everywhere, for many of our employees working from home (whenever possible) suddenly became the new standard. Worldwide, increases in home and office electronics are driving the needs for larger server capacity and high-performance computing.

These trends have given our industry confidence to maintain investment in the development roadmap in 2021. As a leading-edge provider of equipment for testing MRAM and magnetic sensors, Hprobe is well positioned to meet new and increasing demands.

With the shift to emerging memory technologies came a shift in the technologies needed to test them. By nature, MRAM requires wafers to be electrically tested while applying an external magnetic field. In addition, the probing must be done with high-frequency hardware that provides the ultra-narrow time domain voltage/current pulses at which MRAM devices operate. As an automatic test equipment (ATE) provider with a unique expertise in MRAM, Hprobe offers IC manufacturers high throughput, highly reliable back end of line (BEOL) solutions to accelerate MRAM product development, ensuring a successful ramp-up.

STT-MRAM (Spin Transfer Torque Magnetic Random-Access Memory) is replacing embedded Flash memory at 28nm and below. Production start milestones were achieved in 2020 at the major foundries and IDMs (including TSMC, GlobalFoundries, Samsung and Intel) at the 22-28nm technological nodes. In 2021 we expect to see an increase in STT-MRAM shipment volume, qualification for automotive grade, and production starts at 14-16nm.

In the magnetic sensors area, the impact of COVID-19 has significantly shifted the target markets. Magnetic sensors are largely used in automotive, where sales of traditional vehicles obviously slumped. However, the perspective increases in electric vehicle volumes are driving investment in 2021. Production starts of new sensor IC products integrating Hall and xMR technologies are planned for 2021, and our new test equipment for these technologies is ready to support them.

We kicked off 2020 with a strong funding round driven by international investors. Combined with our focus and agility, that enabled us to be deeply involved in the industry's attainment of key milestones of MRAM development. We foresee a strong 2021 for Hprobe.

Siamak Salimy, CTO/Co-Founder
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