Belmont, California–Nikon Precision, Inc. (NPI) has released its first application software product that helps improve yield for imaging tools by identifying where die are likely to fail.
The software, called Hot Spot Detection, runs on the improved Nikon Enhanced System Technology (NEST) Manager operating system for the company’s model 6-10 i-line and g-line steppers. Hot Spot Detection enables focus data collection at each die and statistical wafer mapping of that data to detect the presence of a particle on the wafer chuck, reports the company. The results can be sent to a host computer to automatically stop the lot, saving considerable rework expense.
The newly released NEST Manager upgrade offers an improved Windows NT graphical user interface (GUI) and additional functionality over previous versions of NEST. These features, combined with the improved data processing capability of NEST, provide customers with increased wafer output from their existing production capacity.
NEST Manager monitors the operation sequence of the imaging tools. Detailed sequence monitoring information and process parameters are logged into a file for use in analyzing machine performance, resulting in improved diagnostic capability and more efficient troubleshooting. NEST also can generate a snapshot of daily process history, making it possible to easily review machine utilization and throughput.