KLA-Tencor shrinks inspection down to 90nm

June 20, 2003 – San Jose, CA – A new imaging inspection system from KLA-Tencor aims to bring wafer inspection technology down to the 90nm level and below.

Based on the company’s 235x platform, the 2360 incorporates a shorter wavelength light source and smaller pixel size to perform inline monitoring of product wafer nodes at or below 90nm. The technology enables users to contrast images of different material combinations in order to locate hard-to-find defect types, such as stringers at gate etch and voids at shallow trench isolation (STI) CMP and copper CMP.

Reducing the distance between nodes from 157nm down to 90nm is creating new challenges for chip testing equipment vendors. Process materials such as 193nm photoresists and low-k dialectrics are being introduced into the mix, and defects as small as 50nm can affect yields. “Both of these pose significant challenges for defect control,” according to Piero Pansana, device engineering and industrialization director at ST Microelectronics’ R2 Technology center.


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