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 Archer 300 LCM metrology system.
The Archer 300 LCM offers precision and measurement speed significantly better than that of its predecessor, the widely-adopted Archer 200, and features new in-die metrology capability. With these innovations, the Archer 300 LCM can serve as a comprehensive overlay error management solution throughout the fab, meeting the strict specifications required to qualify scanners and tightly control high volume manufacturing of leading-edge logic and memory devices. Upgradeable from existing Archer tools, the Archer 300 LCM represents a high performance, low cost-of-ownership overlay metrology solution for advanced processes.
"The implementation of novel extensions to 193i lithography has had an enormous impact on the overlay error allowance for critical layers. In particular, the use of double patterning lithography reduces the tolerable overlay error to just a few nanometers at the 32nm node, and subsequent nodes have an even smaller allowance. This restriction is unprecedented," stated Noam Knoll, vice president and general manager of KLA-Tencor's Overlay Metrology Division. "Our new overlay metrology tool, the Archer 300 LCM, meets the stringent specifications required for measuring overlay error on double-patterning and other challenging layers. We have also developed a cost-effective way to enable lithography engineers to take more measurements across the wafer, so that these parameters can be monitored effectively: a combination of increased measurement speed plus the use of very tiny metrology targets placed within the die itself, instead of only in the areas between die. Perhaps most importantly, we are able to provide all of these capabilities in a single, low footprint tool. We believe that the Archer 300 LCM represents a major step forward in solving the difficult overlay issues affecting leading-edge devices."
The Archer 300 LCM includes several features designed to help chipmakers cost-effectively develop and manufacture 2Xnm logic and 1Xnm half-pitch memory devices:
- Improvements to the optical subsystems deliver tighter precision and total measurement uncertainty (TMU), better measurement repeatability and faster move-acquire-measure (MAM) time than the previous-generation Archer 200;
- New in-die overlay measurement capability helps chipmakers implement complex overlay corrections to enable accurate patterning; and
- Upgradeability from widely-adopted, existing Archer tools and designed-in extendibility to other metrology capabilities help protect fabs' capital investments
Archer 300 LCM systems have been shipped to major memory and logic semiconductor manufacturers worldwide, where they will be used for overlay applications in advanced development and high-volume production.