Not necessarily known for its electronics industry, the African continent is soon to welcome the development of wafer fabrication technology after the certification of the first clean room facility in Morocco.

Nemotek Technologie Inc., a manufacturer of wafer-level cameras for portable applications, said recently that it has certified its Class 10 clean room facility in Morocco.

The facility is believed to be the first of its kind in Africa, ideally situated in the Rabat Technopolis Park - a hub for technology development in Morocco. The facility will serve as the centre for the design and manufacture of wafer-level cameras (WLC) for camera phones and other portable devices.

Last year, Nemotek took a license for chip-packaging technology unveiled by Tessera Technologies Inc. The company will develop a range of camera solutions from wafer-level packaging of image sensors and wafer-level lenses, to fully-integrated camera modules.

Nemotek’s clean room will reside in a 10,000-square-meter facility and has been both validated and certified by Luseo, an independent certification company based in France.

''To become the first wafer fabrication company to maintain a Class 10 clean room facility in Africa is a major accomplishment for us as well as the industry,'' said Jacky Perdrigeat, CEO of Nemotek Technologie, in a statement.

Ultra pure
A clean room is an ultra-clean environment, typically used in manufacturing or scientific research, that has a low level of environmental pollutants such as dust, airborne microbes, aerosol particles and chemical vapours.

Such facilities are used extensively in the field of semiconductor manufacture, and can require the very latest in analytical equipment to monitor the atmosphere.

Only last year for example, leading trace gas analyzer manufacturer Tiger Optics unveiled its flagship Tiger-I series of analysers, dedicated to use in clean room applications to maintain accurate ambient air measurement.

As a Morroco based start-up, Nemotek SA has become the first to take a license on chip-packaging technology unveiled last June by Tessera Technologies Inc. that makes it possible to manufacture thousands of lenses simultaneously on a semiconductor wafer.

Nemotek has licensed this technology, dubbed OptiML Wafer-Level Camera (WLC), as well as Tessera's Shellcase Wafer-Level Chip Scale Packaging (WLCSP), and will develop a range of cost-efficient camera solutions from wafer-level packaging of image sensors and wafer-level lenses to fully-integrated camera modules.