KLA-Tencor Addresses Immersion Lithography Challenges at SEMICON/Japan
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SEMICON/JAPAN, Chiba, Japan, Dec. 5, 2006-- KLA-Tencor, Inc., the world leader in inspection and metrology, is showing its broad array of capabilities that help chipmakers conquer the unique time-to-market yield challenges of the 45nm chip generation, including those of immersion lithography. KLA-Tencor is launching a new overlay metrology system at the show for chipmakers that require the world's most advanced overlay accuracy, a critical element in immersion lithography.

"Customers are asking us for new approaches to yield management to make sure they don't miss their market windows, because fab profitability depends so heavily on precise market timing," said Rick Wallace, CEO of KLA-Tencor.

"Our industry leadership and depth of expertise in virtually all areas of inspection and metrology are helping customers shorten development and achieve the fastest possible yield ramps, whether their challenge is immersion lithography, new materials, new chip structures or working with atomic-scale surface inspection and measurement."

KLA-Tencor is highlighting several products that help chipmakers achieve fast yield ramp with immersion lithography systems, which are creating many new pattern-based yield challenges at the 45nm node and below. Fast yield ramp with immersion tools requires much higher levels of defect capture, analytical capability and alignment accuracy.

A new overlay metrology system, which will be released December 7 during the show, enables chipmakers to dramatically improve the accuracy and repeatability of their 45nm-generation lithography tools, including immersion systems. This system combines new imaging, illumination and stage sub-systems to achieve the industry's tightest overlay accuracy, with built-in extendibility to future generations.

KLA-Tencor's 2800 series of brightfield systems are the world leaders in high-resolution brightfield defect detection, with ultra-broadband DUV illumination that lets chipmakers find virtually every type of physical defect on surface and buried layers. With immersion lithography causing a dramatic rise in systematic defects, customers require the 2800's extremely sensitive and highly flexible inspection technology, which is capable of detecting the broadest range of defect types, including the novel defect types created by immersion litho technology, such as bubbles, watermarks, bridging and protrusions.

The VisEdge CV300 system, announced in October 2006, is the world's first system capable of meeting the full range of sub-65nm wafer-edge inspection requirements. The VisEdge system's specialized optics enable customers to identify wafer edge defects that can be carried by immersion lithography systems onto patterned areas, causing significant yield losses. The system lets customers inspect the full wafer edge--top, side and bottom, contributing to fast yield ramping of immersion lithography tools.

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