San Jose--Aug. 28, 1997--KLA-Tencor Corp. (San Jose) has introduced two new reticle and photomask inspection enhancements, the Advanced Performance Algorithm (APA) and the STARlight High Resolution (HR) option.
These enhancements enable accurate and reliable inspection of next-generation 0.25-m reticles, including reticles with complex optical proximity correction (OPC) geometries. APA is a new feature for the RAPID 300 Series reticle pattern inspection systems, while HR is a new option for the line of STARlight reticle contamination inspection systems.
Both of KLA-Tencor's new sensitivity enhancements address heightened reticle inspection requirements for 0.25-m lithography. APA employs new proprietary image processing algorithms to improve the detection of pattern defects, while maintaining high throughput and low nuisance detection counts.
The improved pattern defect sensitivity of APA enables the 300 series to more accurately verify the critical dimensions (CDs) found on advanced OPC reticles. This is vital in guaranteeing reticle quality by leading-edge mask shops during the reticle writing process, and by wafer fabs during incoming inspection.
The STARlight HR option uses the smallest pixel size available in any contamination inspection system to deliver the inspection sensitivity required for 0.25-m lithography. The HR feature will help increase the lithography process window for both mask shops and wafer fabs by capturing contaminants and particles, even semi-transparent defects, such as stains and transmission errors before they impact wafer production.
The APA will be a standard feature on all RAPID 301 and 351 pattern inspection systems, and is also available as a field retrofit. STARlight HR is available on all SL300, SL301, and SL351 systems as a factory or field upgrade option.
San Jose, CA
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