SAN JOSE, Calif. -- KLA-Tencor Corp. has rolled out its new reticle defect inspection system.
Targeted for the 2x-nm logic (3x-nm half-pitch memory) node, the new Teron 600 platform brings programmable scanner-illumination, computational lithography and other capabilities in mask inspection.
The system has inspected prototype reticles created for inverse lithography technology, source-mask optimization, double-patterning lithography and EUV. The system is engineered to be extendible to potential 1x-nm optical solutions.
The Teron 600 features a new, 193-nm wavelength light source. It is said to improve image processing for high-resolution reticle plane inspection (RPI).
It provides die-to-database and die-to-die operating modes. It supports wafer-plane inspection (WPI) for prediction of reticle defect printability, complete with photoresist thresholding and modeling of sub-wavelength diffraction and polarization effects. It also includes a user-configurable scanner illumination model, enabling prediction of reticle defect printability.
"The dramatic change in reticle strategy for the 2x-nm device generation has created a discontinuity in reticle defect inspection," said Brian Haas, vice president and general manager of the Reticle and Photomask Inspection Division at KLA-Tencor, in a statement.
"The reticle features are much smaller than you would predict from a 3x-nm to 2x-nm shrink. In addition, the mask pattern is so fractured that it is no longer feasible for an engineer to look at the location of a reticle defect and decide whether it is likely to print on the wafer--and potentially cause a catastrophic yield loss in the fab,'' he said.
''For the 2x-nm node, we must be able to input a custom scanner illumination profile, take into account polarization effects and the photoresist, and rigorously calculate the impact of the reticle defect on the wafer,'' he added.