KLA-Tencor Wafer Inspection Technology Speeds Ramp of 300 mm Production

November 28, 2001 — SAN JOSE, CA — KLA-Tencor Corp. recently announced that Texas Instruments (TI) has placed a follow-on order for KLA-Tencor’s 2350 ultraviolet (UV) inspection system. This order is a result of the critical role the 2350 system is playing in the rapid ramp of TI’s first 300 mm production line, located in Dallas, Texas.

The transition to 300 mm wafers, copper and low-k dielectrics, and smaller design rules are creating new manufacturing challenges for semiconductor manufacturers. Defects that were non-critical for previous process technologies and at previous design rules are now negatively affecting yields. In addition, new processes in areas such as photolithography and chemical mechanical planarization (CMP) are creating new types of defects.

The convergence of these new technologies and materials has resulted in an increasingly stringent need for wafer inspection tools that have both the resolution to capture these new types of defects and the ability to deliver useful yield information in the shortest time possible. According to TI, KLA-Tencor’s 2350 wafer inspection tool is meeting these challenges during the ramp of TI’s new 300 mm fab.

“Yield learning and process control were major gating factors in achieving an accelerated start-up of our first 300 mm production line. Achieving a fast ramp in 300 mm production gives us a significant competitive edge, and the ability of KLA-Tencor’s 2350 tool to detect new and relevant defect types in critical applications is enabling us to meet our ambitious production ramp schedule,” said Greg Winterton, engineering manager of DMOS6, TI’s 300 mm fab. “We expect that the yield learning initially achieved in 300 mm production at the 0.18-micron node will help accelerate 0.13-micron qualification and release to production.”

KLA-Tencor’s 2350 system features ultra-broadband brightfield illumination to enable the resolution of circuit patterns and defects for 0.13-micron production and 0.10-micron development applications.


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