Nova Measuring Instruments
Ltd. (NASDAQ: NVMI) provider of leading edge stand-alone metrology and the
market leader of integrated metrology solutions to the semiconductor process
control market today announced that its NovaScan Integrated Metrology solution
has been deployed for Copper process control at two leading flash memory manufacturers.
The multiple NovaScan Integrated Metrology installations took place during the
first half of 2009. The Company also reported more orders received at the beginning
of July for similar tools from a major foundry which the Company will deliver
in the third quarter of 2009.
By accurately measuring the Copper line thickness using NovaScan Optical CD
and by deploying Advanced Process Control (APC) the Copper process variability
was reduced by 30%. Collaboration with the customers also demonstrated a potential
of further reducing process variability by measuring the Copper trench depth
with a NovaScan stand-alone tool after Etch and feeding the result forward to
"As part of the move to the 50nm and 40nm technology nodes, memory manufacturers
start integrating Copper into their devices and Optical CD provides a useful
means to measure and control relevant steps in the process" said Noam Shintel,
Director of Corporate marketing at Nova. "With our solution already deployed
in foundries and given the rapid proliferation of Copper to the memory sector,
I see a great potential for our metrology solutions. By deploying Nova's metrology
together with wafer to wafer process control, memory manufacturers can significantly
improve their Copper process and reduce Copper process variability by dozens
of percentage points."
Flash Copper process control is as demanding as logic process control. It is
critical to control the Copper line's resistivity and therefore precisely control
the Copper line profile which determines the chip's resistivity. Topography
effects like dishing and erosion affect the device parasitic capacitance, leakage
power and yield. At advanced technology nodes smaller CD's and increased density
cause defects such as barrier residues while voids in the Copper fill become
dominant in deterring yield.
NovaScan Integrated Metrology featuring industry leading reliability and throughput
of less than one second Move Acquire Measure (MAM) time, coupled with NovaMARS
2D and 3D modeling software, provides the capability to accurately measure the
Copper line profile, dishing, erosion, barrier residues and other Copper process
parameters without affecting the overall cycle time or reducing Polisher speed.