By Will Soutter
Nanometrics has reported that a major Asian device maker has qualified Nanometrics’ SPARK-API macro defect inspection system for advanced 2X nm devices.
The SPARK-API macro defect inspection system is currently utilized to develop advanced 3D wafer-scale packaging (WSP) processes for advanced logic and memory devices, which are slated for mass-production later 2012. The system was qualified at various inspection steps such as wafer thinning, bonding quality, and backside processing for through-silicon via (TSV) applications.
The SPARK-API macro defect inspection system can be employed for macro defect inspection in various semiconductor production lines, delivering scalable and cost-efficient technology for WSP, lithography, wafer backside, and mask. Device makers can realize smaller fab footprint, higher information throughput, and lower cost of ownership for sophisticated process control inspection and metrology when the system used in conjunction with, or integrated on the Lynx platform along with other Nanometrics systems for topography, overlay, and critical dimension.
Nanometrics’ Vice President for Inspection Business Unit, Lars Markwort stated that the selection of the SPARK was its capability to handle various process control inspection requirements in this promising WSP segment. The system fulfils the mass-production requirements of 3D-WSP with its lower cost of ownership and higher throughput by allowing a complete wafer image to be captured in a single shot. Its novel technology enables the detection of residues from earlier process steps, small particle and large-area defects, and voids in the bond layer caused by improper bonding.
Nanometrics’ President and Chief Executive Officer, Tim Stultz stated that this selection strengthens the company’s strategy to broaden its serving markets through the entry into the inspection market and to increase its footprint in emerging fields such as 3D device integration.