SAN FRANCISCO -- At the Semicon West trade show here, fab tool vendors rolled out a plethora of products.
Here's some of the hot product introductions at the show:
*Applied Materials Inc. rolled out its Applied SmartMove system, a comprehensive wafer management solution for non-automated 200- and 300-mm fabs. The SmartMove system brings efficiency to these fabs, seamlessly integrating with customers' existing MES software to wirelessly track and direct the movement of wafer lots.
The SmartMove system integrates Applied's Activity Manager workflow automation software with LotTrack technology from Intellion AG, a radio frequency and ultrasound-based wafer carrier tracking system.With the SmartMove system, users can boost factory output by up to 10 percent, and typically realize a return on their investment in less than 9 months.
*EV Group unveiled its next-generation, UV-nanoimprint lithography (UV-NIL) step and repeat system--the EVG770 Gen II NIL Stepper. Some of the key new features the EVG770 include vacuum imprinting on a spun-on polymer layer, which eliminates defect issues caused by trapped air bubbles--ultimately resulting in pattern fidelity.
It also boasts a high-precision alignment system with accuracy within +/-500-nm. A <35-nm overlay alignment accuracy has already been demonstrated on a test set-up system.
*KLA-Tencor Corp. announced two new wafer inspection systems and a new electron-beam review system to address defect issues at the 3X-nm / 2X-nm nodes. The 2830 Series brightfield wafer inspection platform uses a high-power plasma light source to illuminate defect types whose size or location made them impossible to detect repeatably before now.
The Puma 9500 Series darkfield wafer inspection platform introduces new optics and image acquisition technology that give it twice the resolution at twice the speed of its predecessor. The eDR-5210 e-beam review and classification system features second-generation electromagnetic-field immersion technology.
*Norcimbus FCIV Inc., a supplier of particle-free UHP process gas systems and automation, introduced its NBlend variable flow gas mixing system to the global semiconductor and solar manufacturing markets. The NBlend system allows manufacturers to transition away from using specialty gas cylinders and achieve significant cost savings by blending their own specialty gasses in-house, implementing a facility's existing bulk gas supply infrastructure.
*Rudolph Technologies Inc. announced today the availability of its new S3000S Metrology System for in-line process control of advanced diffusion and fab-wide thin film applications. The optical design of the S3000S System enables simultaneous measurement with multi-wavelength, multi-angle Focus Beam Ellipsometry (FBE) and deep ultraviolet reflectometry (DUVR)--reducing measurement time and significantly increasing throughput over previous generations.
*SAFC Hitech is continuing its focus on next generation high-k for gate applications. The company has also made progress in developing germanium antimony telluride (GST) precursors for use in high volume phase
change memory (PCM) applications.
*Another vendor, sp3 Diamond Technologies Inc., a supplier of diamond film products, equipment and services, said that its chemical vapor deposition (CVD) deposition capability has been expanded to provide diamond coatings ranging from smooth nanocrystalline with a surface roughness of less than 10 nm to controlled microcrystalline films with a surface roughness greater than 10 um.
Additionally, sp3's Model 650 CVD diamond hot filament reactors, which are used to apply the coatings, are available for companies interested in manufacturing diamond coated products in-house.