Tignis lands funding to create applications for process control in semiconductor manufacturing


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Tignis has announced a $7.2 million Series A funding. The company creates process control applications for semiconductor manufacturing using AI, aiming to democratize machine learning for process engineers.

Tignis said it will use the funding to expand its sales team. Its PAICe Product Suite was launched in 2021 and facilitates the building, validation and deployment of physics-driven and machine-enabled solutions in semiconductor manufacturing. The AI process control technology is used both on semiconductor fabrication equipment from OEMs as well as layered on top of manufacturing processes.

Tignis has developed a proprietary low-code language, the Digital Twin Query Language (DTQL), to find and investigate problems with production, as part of the PAICe Monitor application. Additionally, PAICe Maker would speed up simulations in order to adaptively control equipment, while PAICe Builder provides a theoretical baseline. This makes it possible to create a digital twin of mission-critical systems. The platform can ingest sensor and telemetry data, perform ML-based analytics and provide real-time process tuning.

The product suite is already used by top-five semiconductor equipment companies, such as Tokyo Electron, and Tignis says it already has contracts to provide its technology for next-generation tools. Tignis claims its products accelerate process development, improve yields and decrease down-time, among other benefits. This could prove beneficial, as Intel, TSMC and Samsung, the three largest semiconductor manufacturers, have all experienced recent yield issues. 

“This funding will accelerate Tignis on its journey of advancing physics-driven AI process control as an enabler of the next generation of semiconductor manufacturing,” said Jon Herlocker, president and CEO of Tignis. “AI Process control will accelerate semiconductor process development, improve efficiency and quality, and enable manufacturing technologies that previously were too complex to model, resulting in production of smaller and more complex chips, faster time to market and improved yield while reducing the cost of operations.” 

Tignis also specifically called out the potential benefit of its technology for the U.S., which suggests that it may have Intel as a customer. “In addition, the advancement of AI process control technology in semiconductor manufacturing that Tignis is undertaking is of particular importance to the US market, to re-establish competitiveness and leadership in this industry,” Herlocker said.

The $7.2 million Series A funding was led by DN Capital and also had participation by Clear Ventures, former VMWare CEO Paul Maritz and former GE Digital CTO Harel Kodesh.

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