Company Spotlight: SandBox Semiconductor

Memory chips store critical data in our beloved smartphones, computers and electronic devices, but these small parts come at a high price. Two challenging processes used in semiconductor fabrication – etching and deposition – cost manufacturers over $1.2 billion every year.

SandBox Semiconductor is an Austin-based startup aiming to address this problem by revolutionizing process development for semiconductor manufacturing. Embodied in a customized, data-driven platform called SandBox Studio™, the company has pioneered an approach to nano-manufacturing that identifies optimal process conditions using proprietary data analytics techniques and physics-based models. Their results are experimentally validated to bring next-generation semiconductor technologies to market with 1/3 the number of R&D experiments traditionally required.

SandBox Envision™ helps users design complex recipes and visualize large scale process spaces.

Meghali Chopra, SandBox Semiconductor's Co-founder and CEO, was recently recognized on the prestigious Forbes ‘30 Under 30’ 2019 list in the Science category. She earned a bachelor's degree with Honors, from Stanford University and a doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin, both in Chemical Engineering.

In 2018, SandBox Semiconductor received a Phase I SBIR grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop SandBox Studio™, and a Phase I SBIR grant from the US Department of Energy (DOE) to build high performance computing models for roll-to-roll semiconductor fabrication. They are currently participating in Larta’s Commercialization Accelerator Programs with both agencies, working with Principal Advisers Diane Hickey-Davis and Ferey Faridian.

We are grateful to be recognized for our achievements in the advancement of software tools for nano-manufacturing processes. The support we have received from Small Business Innovation Research grants has accelerated our technological and commercial progress,” says Meghali. “Today, SandBox's data analytics and modeling tools are enabling semiconductor process engineers all over the world to reduce cost and accelerate time to market by helping them to predict optimal process parameters faster and more accurately than ever before.

SandBox Semiconductor is currently partnered with the Texas Advanced Computing Center and the Eindhoven University of Technology. The company was founded in 2016 and participated in the Austin Technology Incubator’s Student Entrepreneur Acceleration and Launch (SEAL) program. They also competed in the 2017 Rice Business Plan Competition, where they won the Courageous Women Entrepreneurs Prize and the Station Houston Engine of Innovation Prize.

For more on SandBox Semiconductor, or to request a demo, please visit

InnovateJelani OdlumNSF