Wafer Inspection Tool detects edge profile, metrology, defect.

Press Release Summary:

Complimenting existing edge defect inspection and review functionality, capabilities of VisEdge CV300R-EP help fabs identify potentially yield-impacting irregularities in shape of wafer edge profile or edges of films deposited on wafer. Tool provides calibrated measurement of profile of wafer edge, including slope of bevel on which film edge may land. Additionally, system incorporates data from patterned edge die to trace film edge and its concentricity with wafer or neighboring films.

Original Press Release:

KLA-Tencor(TM) Announces New VisEdge(TM) CV300R-EP System

Offering Wafer Edge Profile, Film Edge Metrology and Edge Defect Inspection in One Tool

MILPITAS, Calif. -- Today KLA-Tencor Corporation(TM) (NASDAQ:KLAC), the world's leading supplier of process control and yield management solutions for the semiconductor and related industries, announced the latest addition to its industry-leading VisEdge family of products: the VisEdge CV300R-EP edge metrology and inspection tool. The VisEdge CV300R-EP introduces two edge-metrology capabilities designed to help fabs identify potentially yield-impacting irregularities in the shape of the wafer edge profile or in the edges of films deposited on the wafer. These new metrology capabilities add to the edge defect inspection and review capabilities of current VisEdge systems, making the VisEdge CV300R-EP a comprehensive tool for helping fabs improve yield issues associated with the wafer edge.

Semiconductor fabs print die as close to the wafer edge as possible to maximize the number of devices per wafer. However, die near the wafer edge typically show the lowest yield. To address edge-yield issues, fabs need to control where the edge of each film lands--on the planar front surface of the wafer or past the planar surface into the sloped bevel--and match the perimeter of each film to those of films deposited before and after it during device processing. VisEdge CV300R-EP provides a calibrated measurement of the profile of the wafer edge, including the slope of the bevel on which the film edge may land. In addition, VisEdge CV300R-EP is the first system to incorporate data from patterned edge die--including partial die--to trace the film edge and its concentricity with the wafer itself or with neighboring films in the process. Other solutions omit data from patterned areas, a method that may result in less accurate tracing of the film edge.

"Monitoring film concentricity is critical because overlapping film edges may lead to film delamination, increased edge defectivity and eventual yield loss," said Remo Kirsch, manager of Contamination Free Manufacturing at GLOBALFOUNDRIES, Inc. Fab1, located in Dresden, Germany. "KLA-Tencor's VisEdge tool has the unique ability to trace the position of the edge of the copper film through both the patterned and unpatterned areas near the wafer edge, allowing us to determine the concentricity of the copper film with respect to the center of the wafer. We have implemented a daily monitoring strategy using the VisEdge system to qualify process chambers for the copper interconnect layers."

"Edge profile monitoring is another emerging use case for the VisEdge platform," said Oreste Donzella, vice president and general manager of the SWIFT division at KLA-Tencor. "We have found that the bevel angle and other edge-profile parametric values can vary widely among wafer suppliers. Variations in the bevel angle, for example, can affect the structure of films at the outer perimeter, with implications for film integrity and ultimately wafer yield. The VisEdge CV300R-EP is able to identify wafers whose edge profiles do not meet process requirements."

The new algorithms and new edge-profile module of the VisEdge CV300R-EP inspection and metrology system enable the following capabilities:

-- Simultaneous edge defect inspection and multi-layer edge metrology in the near-edge and top bevel regions of the wafer--now including patterned areas, to provide greater coverage and more accurate determination of the film edge
-- Multi-channel (specular, scatter, phase) defect imaging and binning in the near-edge, top and bottom bevel, and apex regions of the wafer
-- On-board high-resolution review microscope
-- Calibrated edge profile measurements of all sixteen SEMI standard parameters, for bare wafer incoming quality control at fabs
-- Edge profile feedback to the metrology algorithm, for accurate measurement of film stack height ("z-cut") in the bevel
-- Enhanced performance on low-contrast films compared to previously announced models and the ability to detect buried edges in dielectric films
-- Rotating optical head, eliminating "blind spots" and "stitching" errors

KLA-Tencor's VisEdge CV300R-EP wafer edge inspection and metrology system can be purchased as a new system or as a field upgrade from the VisEdge CV300R. To maintain high performance and productivity, the VisEdge CV300R-EP tools are backed by KLA-Tencor's global, comprehensive service network. For more information on KLA-Tencor's wafer edge metrology/inspection systems, please visit the product web pages at: www.kla-tencor.com/front-end-defect-inspection/visedge-family.html.

About KLA-Tencor:

KLA-Tencor Corporation (NASDAQ:KLAC), a leading provider of process control and yield management solutions, partners with customers around the world to develop state-of-the-art inspection and metrology technologies. These technologies serve the semiconductor, data storage, LED, photovoltaic, and other related nanoelectronics industries. With a portfolio of industry-standard products and a team of world-class engineers and scientists, the company has created superior solutions for its customers for over 30 years. Headquartered in Milpitas, California, KLA-Tencor has dedicated customer operations and service centers around the world. Additional information may be found at www.kla-tencor.com. (KLAC-P)

CONTACT: Investor Relations, Ed Lockwood, Sr. Director, Investor Relations, +1-408-875-9529, ed.lockwood@kla-tencor.com, or Media Relations, Meggan Powers, Sr. Director, Corporate Communications, +1-408-875-8733, meggan.powers@kla-tencor.com, both of KLA-Tencor Corporation

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