Rudolph, SEMATECH, Albany forge process characterization pact

Feb. 20, 2008 – Rudolph Technologies and SEMATECH are establishing an international process characterization program to develop process, analysis, and characterization technology targeting 32nm and beyond semiconductor manufacturing. Work will be headquartered at the U. of Albany’s College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE). Rudolph says it is the first semiconductor equipment supplier to join SEMATECH’s metrology program at Albany.

The deal involves working with members of SEMATECH and subsidiary ISMI to accelerate development and application of measurement methods for advanced semiconductor technologies, particularly integrated metrology, inspection and yield enhancement software, under the goals of overcoming challenges of increased process complexity, shrinking sizes of systematic and extraneous defects, and harder-to-discern actionable information gleaned from raw data.

Initially the IPC program will addresses a range of issues, including the metrology of thin films and metal gate stacks; wafer front/back/edge macrodefect inspection; inspection and metrology for through-silicon vias (TSV) and 3D IC; immersion lithography process characterization; process modeling and optimization for yield enhancement; and automatic defect classification (ADC). Also, the program aims to establish benchmarks for cost-effective solutions by including cost-of-ownership criteria in all projects.

“The integration of advanced hardware and intelligent analytical software will be the key to meeting these challenges,” said Rudolph COO Alex Oscilowski, in a statement. “We’re looking forward to contributing our experience, front-end to back-end throughout the manufacturing process, and our broad expertise in metrology, inspection and data analysis technologies, to this important joint effort.”

Michael Polcari, president/CEO of SEMATECH, added that “ultimately, we believe the IPC program can serve as both a foundation and a model for expanded programs in this critical area of metrology and process characterization.”


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