PORTLAND, Ore. -- By adding intelligent parallel processing, KLA-Tencor Corp. (Milpitas, Calif.) has increased the throughput of its wafer inspection and metrology tool by as much as four times.
Called CIRCL for Concurrent Inspection and Review CLuster, the lithography review and outgoing quality control (OQC) system uses embedded intelligence to monitor the front side and if defects are found, also monitor the back side and edge of a wafer for defects too, while simultaneously measuring the wafer edge profile, edge bead concentricity and macro overlay error. In addition, two lots can be simultaneously monitored in parallel, potentially quadrupling overall throughput.
"The CIRCL's DirectedSampling technology can be programmed to inspect and measure just what you want it to," said Thomas Groos, senior product marketing manager. "For instance, it can inspect the front, back and edge every time, or be programmed to just do the back an edge if associated defects are found on the front.
KLA-Tencor's Concurrent Inspection and Reveiw CLuster (CIRCL) can detected front-side defects (right) then trigger back-side detection (left) to find assciated defects (circled). Click on image to enlarge.
CIRCL handles both macro- and micro-defect detection and measurement simultaneously on two wafer lots, saving clean room space by incorporating all inspection steps--front-side, edge, backside and spot checking--into a single tool.
The tool performs detection and binning of defects from particles, defocus defect detection spanning many die, full-wafer defect detection such as missing resist, reticle identification checks, macro overlay error monitoring to check layer-to-layer pattern registration, edge-bead removal metrology for monitoring film concentricity and edge integrity monitoring in the case of delamination defects.
"Advanced memory and logic devices require closer monitoring than ever before," said Groos. "An increasing number of process parameters necessitate considering all wafer surfaces in parallel to perform defect, inspection, metrology and review simultaneously."
CIRCL is available now and has already been installed at several foundry, logic and memory chip manufacturers for use in both development and production lines.Related stories: ISPD: Semiconductors aim for 8-nm nodeTSMC set to receive Matrix 13,000 e-beam litho machineDarkhorse litho technologies stay in NGL raceFoundry, logic customers drive KLA orders reboundNew KLA tools eye changing process technology