August 9, 2011 – Robert Newcomb from Qcept Technologies explains his company’s nonvisual defect inspection technology for logic and IC manufacturers, speaking at SEMICON West 2011.
In today’s advanced manufacturing nodes, leading-edge wafer fabs are focused on yields and integrating new materials successfully. Customers in mainstream 200mm/300mm semiconductor fabs are more focused on cost reduction and environmental friendliness. Yield is still important, but the aim is a balance of cost savings, high yields, and other factors.
Ultrathin low-k dielectrics, high-k metal gate (HKMG) processes, and other technologies are creating new defectivity issues at 22nm. In some cases, Newcomb says, optical inspection will catch these, but other non-visual defects are becoming more prominent. Below 22nm, partnerships will be key, Newcomb expects. Fab customers are valuable in metrology research, as are wafer processing equipment companies.