First sale puts Nearfield Instruments on the path to maturity

Nearfield Instruments ended 2020 on a high note. The Rotterdam-based TNO spinoff shipped its first metrology system to an undisclosed customer. Its scanning probe microscope – the Quadra – is capable of sensing challenging 3D semiconductor structures, at a sufficiently high speed to be used in chip mass production. How did a small startup manage to carve out a place for itself in that highly competitive market?