KLA-Tencor and TEL Introduces New Package to Meet OCD Metrology Requirements for 32nm Node and Below

Today, KLA-Tencor Corporation (NASDAQ:KLAC) and Tokyo Electron Limited (TEL) announced AcuShape™, a new modeling and library-generation package to meet optical critical dimension metrology requirements for the 32nm node and below. Developed as part of a cooperative agreement between KLA-Tencor and Timbre Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of TEL, this new software package leverages the strength of the two industry leaders to enable metrology engineers in IC fabs to measure the dimensions of 3D logic and memory structures, such as FinFETs*, bulb RCATs**, and structures created by the advanced patterning technique called spacer pitch splitting. This new software package operates on KLA-Tencor's stand-alone optical critical dimension platform, SpectraCD™, and Timbre Integrated Metrology (IM) CD systems.

As fabs prepare their next-generation chips, they are turning to innovative patterning technologies and designs to enhance device performance and solve power-management issues. A new technique called spacer pitch splitting (SPS) enables fabs to print smaller lines and spaces to enhance device speed and lower costs. In order to solve leakage current issues associated with small, densely spaced lines, three-dimensional transistors have also been introduced. The shapes of these SPS and 3D transistor structures are new to the semiconductor industry, and control of their widths and profiles can be critical to device yield or performance. Unlike established CD-SEM technology, which can measure line widths but has limited ability to measure profiles, the optical CD technology enabled by AcuShape is well-suited for measuring both line widths and profiles of 3D features.

“Whether on integrated or stand alone platforms, optical CD measurements have become more critical to dimensional control as the industry has progressed through each technology node,” said Jim Hamajima, Timbre president. “At the 32nm node, we are seeing some very new structures emerging, and the shrink to 22nm will further increase complexity. The cooperation between KLA-Tencor and Timbre benefits customers of both companies, bringing new capability for measuring these structures as they are developed. Furthermore, having a common platform on their integrated and stand-alone optical CD tools brings efficiency in training and server resources, which helps in today’s lean manufacturing environment.”

Ahmad Khan, vice president and general manager of KLA-Tencor’s Films and Scatterometry Technology (FaST) Division added, “We are delighted that our year-long project with Timbre and TEL has allowed us to extend the capability of our successful SpectraCD product line. By giving our customers tools to manage innovative structures, they will be able to forge ahead with their next-generation product development.”

Available as an upgrade to the industry-leading SpectraCD products, AcuShape is a key element in KLA-Tencor’s portfolio of advanced metrology solutions. AcuShape has been shipped to several memory, logic and foundry fabs in the United States, Europe, Japan, Korea and Taiwan, where it is being used to measure production wafers and provide early learning on advanced R&D structures.

The AcuShape trademark is the property of TEL and is licensed to KLA-Tencor. The SpectraCD trademark is the property of KLA-Tencor Corporation.

*FinFET = “Fin”-shaped Field Effect Transistor (FET)

**RCAT = Recessed Channel Array Transistor

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