Semiconductor engineering and failure analysis tool from SELA enters production phase

Manufacturing operations expand to accommodate demand for sample preparation tool

As failure analysis, defect detection and process monitoring become paramount in semiconductor fabs, global interest increases for sample preparation tool; DRAM, flash memory and logic fabs process samples; SELA expands manufacturing

March 15, 2007 — /BUSINESS WIRE/ — SUNNYVALE, Calif. — SELA, a leading global supplier of engineering and failure analysis tools for the semiconductor industry, has set its production schedule for the Xact, the first STEM/TEM sample preparation system using the disruptive new AIMTM (Adaptive Ion Milling) technology. This new tool, launched in November 2006, has garnered global interest from DRAM, flash memory and logic manufacturers as TEM and STEM based yield and defect analysis gains greater significance in IC fabs. SELA today announced the following milestones:

Milestones for Xact, engineering & failure analysis tool:

* Currently, there are multiple tools in production at SELA’s manufacturing facility in Israel. These production tools are based on strong commitments from leading strategic customers in the DRAM, flash memory and logic markets. These defect detection production-ready tools will be completed for qualification in early 2007.

* From the significant global interest shown in the sample preparation tool, SELA is working closely with strategic customers and their devices from the following key semiconductor manufacturing locations: United States, Taiwan, Korea, Singapore and Germany.

*SELA has expanded manufacturing capacity in Israel to accommodate the additional production demand of the Xact engineering and failure analysis tool.

* Recent applications engineering progress on the Xact defect detection and failure analysis tool has been concentrated on process window requirements for next generation advanced device technology as identified by the ITRS roadmap.

* SELA continues to develop its partnership with The Technion (Israel Institute of Technology), Israel’s oldest and premier institute of science and technology. The highly productive partnership is leveraging the academic and research leadership of The Technion with the market strength and applications experience of SELA.

“We’ve been extremely pleased with the interest from the global semiconductor community for the new system,” commented Colin Smith, SELA CEO. “We are ramping up production, expanding our manufacturing capacity and perfecting our process development work as we prepare for the delivery of the first Xact production tools. It is gratifying to know that the industry has shown such great anticipation for the tool.”

Developed to overcome limitations of Existing TEM Sample Preparation technology

SELA’s newest system in its suite of sample preparation tools introduced a twin-beam solution uniquely configured for artifact-free sample clarity and precise end-point detection. It delivers excellent sample quality, significantly reduced turnaround times and enhanced productivity.

AIM was developed to overcome the limitations of FIB technology in regards to artifacts, size of selected area, lamella thickness and productivity. It reduces sample widths to below 50 nanometers over a large area with high precision, artifact free (wedge-like) quality, high throughput, and low COO.

Background information:
Gentle broad ion milling has traditionally been an accepted method of material removal to obtain samples of high quality with negligible artifacts. However, this technique could not be applied effectively for sample preparation because it could not fulfill the essential requirements of precision and productivity. It was therefore relegated to the function of FIB touch-up, or completion of mechanically polished lamella or preparation of non site-specific specimens where throughput was not an issue.

SELA was ideally positioned to overcome these drawbacks. It has established itself as the pre-eminent supplier of sample preparation solutions; its MicrocleavingTM technology has set the standard for precision high quality SEM sample preparation, and its EM2 system with the cryo-cooled dry saw technology has enhanced the productivity of TEM sample pre-preparation. This latter innovation was viewed at SELA as a precursor to a full TEM sample preparation solution that would overcome the limitations of FIB and other preparation techniques.

About SELA
SELA, Ltd., founded in 1992, is a provider of a suite of cutting-edge failure analysis tools for the semiconductor industry including automated SEM (scanning electron microscope) and TEM (transmission electron microscope) sample preparation equipment. SELA’s proprietary Microcleaving technology and the newly introduced AIM (Adaptive Ion Milling) technology set the standard for high quality, automated engineering and failure analysis sample preparation. Over 250 SELA systems are installed at fabs, equipment and material suppliers and research institutes globally. For more information, please see

Carmen Lee, 408-736-3700
[email protected]
Kirkpatrick Communications, Inc.
Bruce Kirkpatrick, 925-244-9100
[email protected]


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