February 22, 2006 – KLA-Tencor has added a new feature spanning its lineup of overlay, CD SEM, and optical CD metrology tools to provide automated real-time analysis of overlay and critical dimension (CD) metrology data during 65nm and below IC manufacturing processes.
K-T Analyzer encompasses overlay and CD correctables, collecting data including CD linewidth, feature shape, and profile information directly from the company’s platforms in real time to provide a snapshot of the size and position of the process window (and even temporal variations). Data is characterized and centered across multiple pitch and CD structures, points across the reticle field, and lithography cells. The information can then be fed back into the fab’s existing process control systems to provide feed-forward and feed-back process corrections, lot or tool disposition, root cause analysis, and automated fault detection, according to the company. The data is also sent to an offline server for engineering troubleshooting analysis.
“Shrinking design rules and reduced process tolerances mandate more stringent CD and overlay control requirements, which in turn is now inundating our customers with a flood of process data,” stated Avi Cohen, EVP and group GM of the parametric solutions group at KLA-Tencor. “They need to be able to make sense of all of this data, and they can’t afford to spend countless hours doing off-line analysis when they have product wafers that need to be patterned per specifications and to be sent on for further processing. K-T Analyzer is designed to help ease this burden so our customers can make the right decisions — the very first time — in order to keep their lithography process optimized and production running smoothly.”
Analyzer versions for KLA-Tencor’s Archer overlay metrology line (previously sold as an option) and eCD line are available now as part of the K-T Analyzer platform. A version for the SpectraCD optical CD metrology platform will be available in 2Q06.