KLA-Tencor and DuPont Photomasks announce successful beta test

October 25, 2001 – San Jose, CA, and Round Rock, TX – KLA-Tencor Corp. and DuPont Photomasks Inc. have completed beta testing of KLA-Tencor’s TeraStar SLF27 reticle inspection tool at DuPont Photomasks’ Round Rock facility, two additional TeraStar tools have been ordered. In addition to the system in Round Rock, new tools are being installed at DuPont Photomasks Taiwan and the DPI Reticle Technology Center, a photomask R&D facility.

The TeraStar system is designed to inspect sub-wavelength photomasks incorporating optical proximity correction (OPC) and phase shifting (PSM) features. DuPont Photomasks intends to use the TeraStar tools to inspect advanced photomasks manufactured for 130nm IC production and 100nm IC development applications in support of its customers around the world.

“Our customers are continuing to drive toward 130nm and below design rules to improve chip performance and reduce cost. DuPont Photomasks is committed to developing advanced process technology and outfitting our facilities with advanced equipment in order to support the expected increase in demand for photomasks supporting 130nm design rules,” said Preston Adcox, president and COO of DuPont Photomasks. “When used in conjunction with the multiple 130nm production lines we have installed worldwide, we expect KLA-Tencor’s TeraStar system will play a critical role in providing our customers with the sub-wavelength photomasks they will require to meet their advanced production and R&D needs.”

“Our role as a partner in the development of the TeraStar tool highlights our practice of partnering with our strategic suppliers to ensure their new tools provide the capabilities needed to help us deliver the most advanced mask technology to our customers,” continued Adcox. “We expect to use TeraStar along with our other installed base of tools to deliver advanced photomasks with the lowest cost of ownership (CoO) for all technology nodes.”

The TeraStar SLF27 was developed in cooperation with International SEMATECH to meet the growing industry need for a tool with high productivity and high sensitivity to inspect sub-wavelength photomasks incorporating hard-to-inspect PSM and OPC features.

“As the industry strives to accelerate the pace of Moore’s Law using sub-wavelength lithography, the ability to inspect complex photomasks is crucial,” said Kurt Kimmel, mask program manager at International SEMATECH. “The development of the TeraStar product is the result of a longstanding cooperation between International SEMATECH and KLA-Tencor and is an important component of our objective to address the critical semiconductor industry issue of mask supply.”

With throughput up to three times that of previous generation tools, TeraStar has the sensitivity to detect all types of particle, contamination and pattern defects on multi-die pelliclized reticles. According to DuPont Photomasks, the tool’s extremely high throughput significantly reduces mask-manufacturing cycle times, enabling it to more quickly meet customer needs. In addition, proprietary Tera algorithms and an image computer enable the system to inspect up to one million by one million pixels per reticle — providing TeraStar with the sensitivity needed to capture defects as small as 100nm. The system is based on KLA-Tencor’s Starlight technology.


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