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Product Technology News

Optical Wafer-Flatness System


Westwood, MA

The WaferSight wafer-flatness tool performs high-resolution and high-throughput mapping of wafer shape, flatness, and thickness variations. Based on proprietary optical laser interferometry, the in-line metrology system is available for 300- and advanced 200-mm wafer processing. Its subnanometer site-flatness measurement precision offers chipmakers good control of polishing, which improves yields of fine-line-geometry devices. The multigenerational tool has automated noncontaminating edge-grip wafer-handling capability and supports the ITRS at the 90-, 65-, and 45-nm nodes. In addition to performing industry-standard wafer thickness, flatness, and bow and warp measurements, the tool measures wafer-edge roll-off, a critical component of lithography yield, and CMP uniformity and process control.

Total Organic Carbon Sensor

Mettler-Toledo Thornton

Bedford, MA

The Thornton total organic carbon (TOC) sensor is offered with the 770MAX, an on-line transmitter that provides multiple TOC and conductivity measurements in a user-configurable multiparameter instrument platform. The instrument features low detection limits with fast and continuous response, providing complete, accurate, and reliable data. The sensor technology makes system installation and startup fast and simple.

Infrared Sensor Graphic Interface


Niles, IL

A dedicated multisensor interface (MSI) is available for Modline 5–series infrared sensors. The MSI enables users to access configuration and temperature data for up to 12 sensors over fabwide networks and the Internet via an embedded Web-browser interface. A NEMA 4X–rated 10.4-in. touch-panel color display, the MSI comes preloaded with screens presenting sensor configuration, status, current temperature, historical trends, and temperature alarms. The unit provides an overview of sensors interconnected by an RS-485 network. With its built-in Web-browser interface, the unit can be accessed by remote workstations via Microsoft Internet Explorer version 6.0 or higher. The infrared sensors measure temperatures across a real range of 250° to 3000°C.

Nanopatterning Stepper

Suss MicroTec

Munich, Germany

A cost-effective alternative to high-resolution E-beam lithography for printing sub-20-nm geometries, the NPS300 nanopatterning stepper employs stamps or templates rather than optical lithography to imprint tiny patterns. The tool is for use in cold ultraviolet-nanoimprint lithography and hot embossing applications. Hot embossing consists of transferring the stamp pattern into a thermoplastic embossing material by controlling heat and pressure. When equipped with an automatic alignment option, the tool demonstrates 250-nm overlay accuracy and accepts stamps with sizes up to 100 mm and thicknesses up to 6.5 mm. The automated system is available either in a manual or a fully automated configuration. It includes automated wafer handling for sizes up to 300 mm and an automated template pickup feature that allows different templates to be printed on the same wafer. The tool can be used to fabricate integrated optical devices, smart materials for microelectronics such as sensors and transducers, and temperature and light sensors.

Thin-Film Metrology Tools


San Diego, CA

The F80 line of stand-alone and integrated thin-film metrology tools uses  thickness-imaging technology, which generates thousands of thickness readings at each measurement pad location. The tools' thickness-based approach shields them from the image-contrast inversion problems that affect conventional metrology tools in CMP applications. That approach improves pattern recognition reliability and decreases the number of recipes required. It also enables more-automated and more-intuitive recipe creation, reducing setup and training time. Because the tools generate large arrays of thickness readings, measurement pad locations can be determined using software rather than high-precision stages, as in conventional tools. Options include 1-D and 2-D high-resolution thickness mapping.

Real-Time FDC System


Dublin, Ireland

A scalable fault detection and classification (FDC) system for semiconductor manufacturing, the Imprint MX2 provides fabs and foundries with portable fault libraries, improved FDC sensitivity across fault types, and data-mining capabilities. The system's user-configurable features permit operators to deploy the most appropriate FDC controls for individual tools and processes, enabling them to implement FDC process control with a scalable, multiuser software platform. The system also allows users to extract large volumes of information from process-state sensors, such as broadband radio-frequency or optical sensors. Its data-mining features include an SQL server database, allowing customers to archive, retrieve, and manage data. The portability of the system's fault libraries lets users transfer FDC libraries across entire toolsets both within sites and from site to site.

PVC Sheet Material

Poly Hi Solidur

Fort Wayne, IN

Corzan G2 PVC-C sheet material is used in a range of semiconductor equipment, from wet process workstations to wafer-processing-equipment cabinetry. The material meets the demands of cleanroom wet processing equipment, including the FM 4910 standard. It offers mechanical strength; high resistance to chemicals such as strong and weak acids and bases, salts, and aliphatic hydrocarbons; ease of use; and weldability. The material is available in 48 X 96-in. sheets in gauge sizes from 1/8 to 1 in.

Chemical Mixer


Dayton, OH

The Clean Sweep, a low-shear, high-purity mixer, uses a sweeping motion instead of customary rotating motion, eliminating process swirl and the need for angle mounting. Featuring an FDA/USP Class VI elastomeric seal, it provides a hermetically sealed environment. The mixer has an impeller with specially shaped blades that are optimized to provide global mixing throughout the vessel. The impeller's flow pattern is modeled using a commercial 3-D computational fluid dynamic code. The mixer eliminates particle shedding and product contamination, requires no baffles, has few cleanability issues, and is easy to maintain.

Piping and Fusion Systems

George Fischer

Tustin, CA

The SYGEF Plus ultrapure-water piping system and 315 Plus infrared fusion machine are suitable for 300-mm processing. The larger-size piping system enables users to install a single 250- or 315-mm pipe instead of two 225-mm pipes, reducing overall installation costs. The piping is available in SYGEF PVDF, a high-strength, low-weight material that resists abrasions and has a wide operating temperature range. Valves and fittings come in 250-, 280-, and 315-mm sizes. The fusion machine incorporates butt fusion welds, small beads, and high joint strength. A computerized program directs the operator at each step of the joining process to minimize errors and enhance weld repeatability. The program also provides documentation on a range of weld parameters.

Semiconductor Lamp


Berlin, Germany

A new addition to a family of wafer-edge-exposure mercury short-arc lamps for photolithography applications, the HBO 200W/DN-I is designed for use with Dainippon Screen photoresist tracks. The lamp offers high performance at a low cost. For use in i-line stepper imaging, it burns in an atmosphere of high-pressure mercury vapor and provides a high output i-line source. Like all HBO-IC lamps, the 200W/DN-I is manufactured with ozone-free quartz, eliminating any potential ozone generation.

Full-Chip Verification Tool

Brion Technologies

Santa Clara, CA

A model-based full-chip tool is used for post–resolution enhancement technique (RET) design verification. Departing from the polygon-based approach to lithography simulation and database handling, the Tachyon RDI 1100 has a hardware-accelerated data and simulation engine that performs those functions. It simulates and inspects 100% of the chip area using an image-based method. It can perform full-chip RET/optical proximity correction verification in one hour. Using post-RET design data, the tool simulates exact wafer-pattern contours across the entire chip. Wafer patterning is verified and failures are identified by comparing the simulated contours with the pre-RET design target. Simulation accuracy is achieved by using 128 calculation kernels during optical image modeling. The system's architecture handles design files from tens to hundreds of gigabytes in size.

Yield Management Software

Knights Technology

Sunnyvale, CA

YieldManager RealTime facilitates  real-time process control and rapid response to process excursions. The system integrates data from design, process, inspection, and test equipment horizontally across all aspects of the semiconductor manufacturing process, enabling managers and engineers to extract relevant information to support yield decisions. The product provides Web-based statistical process control that is tightly integrated with the YieldManager system. It also offers a custom application development environment that accommodates customer-specific code.

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