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Advanced automation software has been built into Philips AMS’s metrology tools. The software decreases the integration time required by IC manufacturers to implement the company’s 300-mm tools into automated, high-volume wafer fabs. The equipment relies on PEER Group’s Tool Orchestrator automation backbone and Asyst’s ConX300 connectivity application. The software enables the metrology tools to interact with customers’ fully automated host systems while providing fast, reliable measurements required to implement advanced process control systems. The software is available on the 3000 platform, which incorporates SurfaceWave technology or a model-based infrared technology.

An integral vacuum chamber stage concept reduces the size of vacuum chambers. The concept, from New Way Air Bearings, shrinks vacuum chamber size to little more than the volume of a semiconductor wafer, decreasing the capital and operating costs of vacuum equipment while improving vacuum system performance, the structural loop, and the metrology system. The vacuum chamber stage concept is based on porous-media technology. Unlike conventional orifice air bearings, the porous-media method controls the airflow across the entire bearing surface through millions of holes in the material. The consistent air-pressure distribution that results from the system provides excellent performance. The stage employs a moving vacuum preloaded air bearing with differentially pumped vacuum grooves. This configuration achieves levels of vacuum that are suitable for advanced patterning applications while facilitating ultraprecise positioning. Information:

Online Recipe Services from KLA-Tencor speeds tool recipe qualification and troubleshooting via online access to the company’s applications experts worldwide. Available through the secure iSupport network, the service provides fast response to recipe issues. Part of the company’s e-diagnostics services, it lowers support costs and increases tool efficiency. When recipe issues arise, the service enables applications experts to access customer tools remotely. It also helps facilitate customer training and knowledge transfer, which take place in the customer’s local language. Information:

Process Specialties offers PSI standards, a line of NIST-traceable thin-film calibration standards for the semiconductor manufacturing industry. Chipmakers are increasingly emphasizing that their fabs must conform to ISO standards and that their tools and processes must deliver maximum quality, uniformity, and yields. The new thin-film calibration standards will help chipmakers to comply with ISO specifications. The standards will enable manufacturers to achieve well-controlled processes and maintain rigorous quality control. Information:

CymerOnLine, lithography light-source-specific e-diagnostics and performance-monitoring software from Cymer, supports the company’s entire installed based of lithography light sources. It improves the performance of excimer light sources and overall lithographic process consistency by minimizing scheduled and unscheduled tool downtime. By using the system, customers and the company’s field-service organization can access and track the performance parameters of their light sources virtually in real-time using statistical process control. With a secure data environment and user-friendly in-terface, the software enables data sampling down to 5-minute intervals per light source. Information:

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