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KLA-Tencor Rolls Out New Generation PROLITH Virtual Lithography Tool

Published on February 19, 2010 at 3:31 AM

Today KLA-Tencor Corporation (NASDAQ:KLAC) , the world's leading supplier of process control and yield management solutions for the semiconductor and related industries, introduced the latest generation of their PROLITH virtual lithography tool.

PROLITH X3.1 enables researchers at leading-edge chipmakers, consortia and equipment makers to quickly and cost-effectively troubleshoot challenging issues in EUV and double patterning lithography (DPL) processes, including line edge roughness (LER) and patterning issues associated with wafer topography. Using PROLITH X3.1 lithographers can streamline their research, conserve valuable lithography cell resources and accelerate product development.

"Researchers face an enormously complex task in evaluating the multiple lithography technologies for the 2Xnm and below design nodes," stated Ed Charrier, vice president and general manager of KLA-Tencor's Process Control Information Division. "They must understand how the pattern printed on the wafer is affected by process-design interactions, including effects of mask designs, scanner settings, wafer topography and variations in resist composition. PROLITH X3.1 uses first-principle physics to help researchers investigate and optimize advanced lithography processes by simulating patterning results rather than printing test wafers. Version X3.1's new EUV and LER models produce accurate results in just a few minutes - making it possible to dramatically reduce product development time. Moreover, this strategy can decrease the amount of scanner, track and CD-SEM tool time diverted to running feasibility experiments, freeing the EUV cell for integration and testing or the optical lithography cell for additional production runs."

PROLITH X3.1 includes several features designed to allow researchers to cost-effectively study different lithography technologies:

  --  The first commercially available stochastic model that takes into
       account the quantum behavior of light and the discrete reactant
       molecules in the resist, helping researchers to:
      --  Accurately model LER with a run time of a few minutes, making it
           practical to study the impact of various process conditions on LER
           in a real fab;
      --  Investigate pattern printing repeatability and study the impact on
           yield;
      --  Predict line and contact hole CD uniformity;
      --  Determine the usable process window; and
      --  Examine how different resist reactant loading levels affect
           printing (e.g., process windows, CD control, defect levels),
           allowing material manufacturers to explore resist formulations at
           significantly reduced cost;
  --  The first commercially available photoelectron model that simulates
       the outcome of EUV lithography processes;
  --  Intuitive wafer topography set-up and improved wafer topography models
       that allow for fast, easy evaluation of double and single patterning
       non-planar lithography stacks, and next-generation non-planar devices
       like FinFETs;
  --  Database of over 60 high-accuracy, calibrated resist models, available
       for immediate use;
  --  Intuitive interface that runs on a 32-bit PC, capable of providing
       fast, accurate lithography models without the need for computer
       upgrades or supercomputers; and
  --  Available as an upgrade to the industry-leading PROLITH platform,
       providing extendibility to protect researchers' existing capital
       investments.

PROLITH X3.1 is the latest in KLA-Tencor's comprehensive toolset that addresses advanced lithography challenges.

Source: http://www.kla-tencor.com/

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