Bede X-ray Metrology and IMEC Collaboration on Process Control of New Materials Used at 45nm Nodes and Below


DURHAM, UK - Bede X-ray Metrology, a leading global provider of X-ray metrology systems to the semiconductor industry, is pleased to announce that it has entered into a collaboration with IMEC, Belgium, a world-leading research centre in nanoelectronics and nanotechnology, to investigate the use of X-ray metrology in the process control of new semiconductor materials used at the 45 nm technology node and below.

The BedeMetrix(TM)-L with Microsource® and ScribeView(TM) optics X-ray metrology system for new semiconductor materials characterization will be installed at IMEC's 300mm research facility. The BedeMetrix(TM)-L uses a combination of High Resolution X-ray Diffraction (HRXRD), X-ray Diffraction (XRD) and X-ray Reflectivity (XRR) techniques on a single platform for a wide range of front and back end process control applications including strained silicon, high-k gate dielectrics, metal gates, barrier metals, interconnects and porous low-k ILD. The Microsource® with ScribeView(TM) optics enables measurements of strain silicon parameters in scribe lines and metrology pads used in the latest state of the art 45nm process.

Dr. Luc Van den hove, Vice President, Silicon Process and Device Technology of IMEC, said, "Bede X-ray Metrology will be used for the measurement of critical process control parameters needed in the use of advanced semiconductor materials for device fabrication. We are pleased that our research will benefit from Bede's expertise in X-ray based process metrology.

X-ray metrology is an important technology for controlling semiconductor processes as the technology nodes shrink, especially at 45nm and below. Unlike other types of metrology, X-rays provide the structural information essential to control new material processes while improving yield. Bede has been supplying X-ray metrology systems to the semiconductor industry for nearly 30 years. Their extensive experience will enable us to embark on a strategic partnership which will be beneficial to IC manufacturers worldwide."

Frank Hochstenbach, Director of Sales and Marketing, and responsible for customer partnerships, of Bede X-ray Metrology said, "We are delighted that IMEC have selected the BedeMetrix(TM)-L, and that we are collaborating with one of the leading R&D centers in the world. It will enable us to benefit from their expertise in the latest process technologies and advanced materials. Jointly we will be able to offer solutions for the various IMEC partners on critical process control. I am sure that both Bede and IMEC will find this collaboration of great benefit in the better understanding of new materials and their impact on the semiconductor devices of the future."

About Bede X-ray Metrology

Bede is the global leader in non-destructive X-ray metrology systems for the semiconductor industry.

The BedeMetrix(TM) product range also includes the BedeMetrix(TM)-F Process Control System for in-line, high volume semiconductor manufacturing. The BedeScan(TM) is a Defect Detection and Inspection System for surface and buried structural defects in patterned or blanket semiconductor wafers. These include those defects at the wafer edge which have been proven to cause wafer breakage and therefore problems with device yield.
Bede was founded in 1978 and is headquartered in Durham, UK. The company has a sales and service office in Denver, Colorado (USA),as well as a global network of distributors, including Tokyo Electron (TEL) in Japan. Further information on Bede can be found on www.bede.com

About IMEC

IMEC is a world-leading independent research center in nanoelectronics and nanotechnology. Its research focuses on the next generations of chips and systems, and on the enabling technologies for ambient intelligence. IMEC's research bridges the gap between fundamental research at universities and technology development in industry. Its unique balance of processing and system know-how, intellectual property portfolio, state-of-the-art infrastructure and its strong network of companies, universities and research institutes worldwide position IMEC as a key partner for shaping technologies for future systems. As an expansion of its wireless autonomous microsystems research, IMEC has created a legal entity in the Netherlands. Stichting IMEC Nederland runs activities at the Holst Centre, an independent R&D institute that develops generic technologies and technology platforms for autonomous wireless transducer solutions and systems-in-foil.

IMEC is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium, and has representatives in the US, China and Japan. Its staff of about 1400 people includes close to 500 industrial residents and guest researchers. In 2006, its revenues are estimated to be over EUR 200 million. Further information on IMEC can be found on www.imec.be.

Bede X-ray Metrology
Belmont Business Park
Durham
DH1 1TW
UK
Phone: +44 (0) 191-332-4700
Fax: +44 (0) 191-332-4800

Bede X-ray Metrology
14 Inverness Drive East
Suite H-100
Englewood, CO 80112
USA
Phone: 303-790-8647
Fax: 303-790-8648

www.bede.com
info@bede.co.uk

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