Corwil Technology performs high-volume wafer dicing for medical implants.
Robert Corrao spent many years dutifully serving as the vice president and general manager of a large semiconductor company. But when the company was acquired, Corrao and his manufacturing manager, Finn Wilhelmsen, reassessed their options. “We did so well at that company that after it was acquired, we decided to go out on our own rather than go ahead with that [new] company,” Corrao recalls. Mortgaging their houses, the two men decided to take the risk and launched a chip assembly operation in 1990, dubbing it Corwil Technology Corp. (Milpitas, CA).
And the risk paid off. Corwil has come a long way since 1990, expanding from a modest one-room, two-person operation to a 30,000-sq-ft facility housing more than 150 employees. From its Silicon Valley plant, the company caters to the high-reliability semiconductor, military, aerospace, and medical device industries.
Although Corwil has been steadily serving the medical device industry since its humble beginnings, the company is making a strategic effort to promote growth in the sector. “We’re trying to capitalize on our experience and our capabilities, and to exploit that with new potential customers in the medical industry,” Corrao says. Specializing in integrated circuit assembly and test services, the company provides wafer thinning and dicing services for such devices as pacemakers, defibrillators, and hearing aids. It also performs visual inspection of the devices, which can screen out more than 97% of the potential failures, according to Corrao.
“Medical is a good fit for us because we are very experienced in high-reliability manufacturing, which is required in the medical industry,” Corrao comments. “We feel that with our certifications—including the most stringent mil-aero certifications that allow us to build product that goes into the shuttle and satellites—that same high-reliability, high-quality expertise is needed in the medical industry as well.”
In addition to certifications and experience, the company counts flexibility among its strengths. Corrao notes that the company is well-versed in problem solving, and is always ready to try new materials or processes to achieve the required chip packaging. It is also capable of helping companies in the prototype stage through to production. “There aren’t too many companies that do what we do,” Corrao concludes. “We are the largest wafer-processing company in the United States, and we differentiate ourselves on the basis of our diversified product offerings.”
Corwil Technology Corp.
Published in MPMN, January/February 2010, Volume 26, No. 1
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