SAN JOSE -- KLA-Tencor Corp. today introduced a new line of critical-dimension metrology systems for volume production of 0.13-micron (130-nm) and below devices, including fully-automated, Web-based CD process window measurement, analysis, and reporting capabilities.
The new 8x50-PWM and SpectraCD-PWM tools are intended to significantly accelerate development of advanced lithography processes, while increasing baseline yields and productivity in fabs, said the company.
"CD control is one of the key roadblocks to preventing chip manufacturers from successfully transitioning to 100-nm and smaller design rules," said Brian Trafas, vice president and general manager of KLA-Tencor's CD Metrology Division. "Every time you have even a single nanometer variation for a state-of-the-art fab, it can cost millions of dollars in lost revenue."
KLA-Tencor said the PWM tools automate all steps -- from measurement to reporting -- that are required to obtain the critical focus and exposure measurements. Many of these steps have been previously performed by lithography tools.
According to KLA-Tencor, optimal focus and exposure settings for lithography cells and processes can drift and change in a variety of ways over time. These variations might have been tolerable at larger design rules, but at sub-130-nm design rules, process windows are so small that previously insignificant fluctuations in settings and focus can cause CD variations, resulting in significant yield losses, said the metrology supplier.
Determining the size of the window and the sensitivity to process variation is critical for stable and efficient pattern transfer at 0.13-micron and below feature sizes, said KLA-Tencor.
With full end-to-end automation and Web-based reporting, PWM systems give chip makers company-wide access to process window reports on stability, cross-field uniformity and matching for all lithography cells and processes in the fab. Integration to KLA-Tencor's Klarity ProDATA process window analysis software is also available for detailed engineering analysis of data processed by the 8x50-PWM and SpectraCD-PWM.