SAN JOSE--KLA-Tencor Corp. here said Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. in South Korea has successfully used its new ultraviolet wafer inspection tool to cut development of new DRAM process technologies by several months.
Introduced last summer, KLA-Tencor's 2350 UV imaging wafer inspection system contains UV illumination technology with broadband optics. The company says the combination significantly reduces noise due to color variation across the wafer's surface while providing high throughput in production inspection applications (see July 10, 2000, story).
"We have booked more than $125 million in orders for the 2350 UV since its introduction last July, and it is currently running in advanced development and production lines worldwide," said Rick Wallace, executive vice president of KLA-Tencor's Wafer Inspection Group.
Samsung in Korea now plans to work with KLA-Tencor to use the inspection tool in development of next-generation DRAM technology. "KLA-Tencor's 2350 UV tool has helped us to save at least three months in our last technology development cycle," said Moon-Yong Lee, general manager and executive vice president of the semiconductor R&D at Samsung.
According to KLA-Tencor, the 2350 UV inspection system is capable of detecting defect below 100 nanometers (0.10 micron), including single missing vias, container and poly bridges, wet residues, and metal stringers. An improved image computer and more powerful software algorithms enable the 2350 UV to achieve a twofold increase in processing speed compared to KLA-Tencor's previous generation of imaging inspection platform, said the San Jose company.
The 2350 UV also features in-line automatic defect classification (iADC), which has been designed to provide more accurate "binning" for faster analysis and real time classification of defects, KLA-Tencor said.