Rudolph uncrates metrology tools, software

July 16, 2007 – Rudolph Technologies Inc. is unveiling two metrology tools at SEMICON West, targeting DRAM, multi-surface macroinspection, as well as data analysis system to capture and analyze process performance information.

The MetaPULSE IIIa, first in a line of new inspection/metrology tools sharing a common platform, provides high-volume on-product thickness and material characterization (e.g., RMS roughness, material density, adhesion, material phase, interlayer reactions, and low-k and ultralow-k ILD modulus) for opaque (metal) films over a range of types, dimensions, and multilayered configurations. Targeting DRAM and flash memory manufacturing process control for 80-65nm and 45-32nm devices, the tool offers up to 25% greater throughput than the previous tool generation, the company claims. Rudolph says it has already received multiple orders from Taiwanese DRAM fabs.

Also debuting at SEMICON West is Rudolph’s Explorer Inspection Cluster family of multi-surface inspection tools, incorporating adaptive wafer scheduling and flexible configurations to enable configuration of individual systems with any combination of wafer front, back, and edge inspection capabilities for particular high-volume production applications, e.g., immersion lithography, copper CMP, and high-k dielectrics. The Explorer family is built on Rudolph’ automated handling platform supporting two loadports and up to three independently configurable inspection/measurement modules; future modules will offer four-loadport configurations and support five modules. An initial version featuring wafer edge and backside inspection modules is shipping this month for use in production monitoring of immersion lithography, the company says.

Lastly, the company is introducing its Discover Data Analysis System, software designed to comprehensively capture and analyze process performance information to help manufacturers identify and fix yield problems. The system uses patented review algorithms to focus the review process on defects of interest, allowing users to identify and store the root cause of an event, noted Mike Plisinski, VP and GM of Rudolph’s data analysis and review business unit, in a statement. Defect signatures can then be fed back to front-end processes in order to scrap bad wafers.

The system accepts data from “virtually any source,” according to Rudolph, including bare or patterned wafers; front/back/edges; micro/macro-inspection; metrology; optical/SEM images; and for any process (FEOL to final manufacturing).


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