By Will Soutter
Process control and yield management solutions provider, KLA-Tencor Corporation has installed the first of its new range of process control systems for 450 mm wafers. The tool is the latest addition to the Surfscan SP3 platform and is labeled as Surfscan SP3 450.
The non-patterned wafer examination system is completely automated and is fully capable of adhering to the stringent surface quality and defect control requirements of 20 nm node processes. The system thus offers significant control over 450 mm silicon and epitaxial silicon substrate manufacture. The SP3 450 can also be employed upward in manufacture of tools used in 450 mm process such as film deposition tools, CMP pads, wet clean tools, annealing systems and slurries and polishers.
Hans Lebon, fabrication manager at the Leuven nanoelectronics research center, imec, stated that the SP3 450 is a much needed tool for the industry’s transition to 450 mm and would help imec in identifying annealing issues apart from monitoring the surface quality of the wafer.
Ali Salehpour, Senior VP and General Manager of the Surfscan Division at KLA-Tencor advocated the use of the SP3 platform across 300 mm and 450 mm wafers to facilitate 20 nm node processes. He stated that SP3 is the only non-patterned process control system in the market capable of providing high resolution images of surface quality and the only kind to employ deep ultra-violet (DUV) sensitivity-enabling illumination.
The company has already received numerous orders from various leading manufacturers of integrated circuits and substrates. The SP3 platform is available in 300mm-only and 300 mm/450 mm bridge configurations.