SANTA CLARA, Calif.--Applied Materials Inc. today rolled out a new high-speed wafer inspection system for 100-nm (0.10-micron) and below process technologies. The CompassPro system uses several new features, including what Applied calls All Optical Dynamic Range and Multi-Perspective Grain Suppression technologies, to quickly identify yield-impacting defects at lower cost and at higher speeds.
The Santa Clara company said the inspection tool's Multi-Perspective Grain Suppression technology uses composite imaging from multiple perspectives to enhance defect detection on a wide range of grainy films, including those found on copper interconnect layers. Applied said its AccuScan technology provides enhanced die-to-die comparison accuracy for up to double the sensitivity of other inspection technologies at the 100-nm technology node.
The All Optical Dynamic Range technology provides variable sensitivity for single-pass full die inspection of devices with widely varying optical properties, said Applied.
"The CompassPro system is a major step forward in inspection technology for advanced chip manufacturing," said Gilad Almogy, vice president and general manager of Applied Materials' Process Diagnostics and Control division. "It offers the unique advantages of our proprietary multiple-perspective technology, which can identify killer defects at high speed on the most difficult surfaces."
A key area of focus for the CompassPro system is copper processing. The system comes with a comprehensive recipe library optimized to support the copper interconnect sequence, Applied said. The company is also offering the CompassPro and with its SEMVision defect review system and copper-processing modules to help chip manufacturers reduce the time it takes to ramp next-generation processes.
In fact, Applied itself has used the new inspection system in development of its own integrated copper modules and systems for wafer fabs. "The CompassPro system has substantially accelerated yield learning during development of our copper dual-damascene products, including our multi-system process modules," Michael Armacost, general manager of Applied's Dual Damascene Module Group.