Planar Corporation history starts with the foundation of KBTEM in November 1962, a design office for precision electronic engineering in Minsk. The main activity was design, development and organization of production of the equipment for photolithographic processes and assembly operations in IC and other microelectronic devices production.
The first steps of KBTEM activities were concentrated to form a highly skilled staff and to develop all necessary infrastructure for building complex equipment, starting with research and development, manufacture of prototypes up to their commercial production, marketing and servicing of supplied systems at the customer’s site.
Combination of precision mechanics, optics, electronics, software, developement of manufacturing and R&D facilities within the first years of activity allowed to develop and provide electronic industry with the mask making equipment, mask aligners, equipment for assembly of integrated circuits (ICs) and hybrid ICs using thermocompression, ultrasonic, electropulse methods of wire bonding.
In 1966 the first Photocomposition System (Pattern Generator) was developed and in 1967 – an automated line for assembly of transistors on carrier tape in plastic packages.
In 1971 Planar R&D and Manufacturing Corporation with KBTEM headquarters company was established. Such large machine-building factories as Ellar (Riga, Latvia), Evistor (Vitebsk, Belarus), Eton (Novolukoml, Belarus) and some other enterprises joined the corporation.
On 27 December 2013 of state scientific and production association of precision engineering “Planar” was reorganized into OJSC “Planar” , that does functions of managing company of scientific and production holding of precision engineering “Planar” registered by the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Belarus on 24 December 2014 in Holding registry of the Republic of Belarus.
In 1973 Planar developed the first Wafer Stepper Model EM-542 ahead of the competitors from other countries. And in 1977 we began commercial production of fully Automatic Wire Bonders Model EM-542 and Automatic Probers Model EM-680 with the use of 4-axis linear step motor.
Rapid growth of VLSI complexity, chip sizes and transition to 5", 6" and 8" wafers predetermined the development in 1981 and commercial production of a new Wafer Stepper EM-584 Series which incorporated a new type linear step motor-based multi-axes drive and new projecting lenses of Binar Series. Planar Corporation has manufactured about 1,000 wafer steppers of different modifications.
The R&Ds in laser pattern generators got their further evolution. The use of new light sources (lasers, pulse lamps), fast computers, modular linear step motor drives and high resolution optics allowed to build a family of efficient Laser Pattern Generators EM-559 in 1981, EM-5009A in 1983 and Multi-Beam Laser Pattern Generator EM-5089 in 1984. In 1988 we started commercial production of large-area pattern generators for TV masks and printed circuit boards.
In 1992 Planar Corporation started production of Wafer Steppers Model EM-5084 on a new platform for 8" wafers with minimum feature size 0.5μm.
New developments of assembly equipment were aimed at the enhancement of throughput and precision, full automation and building of integrated automatic lines. Automatic Die Bonders Model EM-4085, Wire Bonders Model EM-4060 (Au) and EM-4020B (Al) built during 1981-2002 were based on multi-axes modular linear step motors, pattern recognition systems and high-speed microprocessors. More than 5,000 units of the above-mentioned models where produced in the 1980s. Development in 1995 of new basic models of Wire Bonders EM-4260 (8 wires per second, Au) and EM-4280 (3 wires per second, Al) was a logical evolution of the previous models.
Development of a wide range of microscopes, inspection and measurement equipment for mask and wafer manufacturing, medical equipment defines scientific and technical capabilities of Planar Corporation.
At present Planar Corporation successfully conducts researches, development and production of its traditional equipment.
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