Luminescent Technologies, Inc., the leading provider of computational lithography solutions to the global semiconductor industry, has broadened its portfolio by adding the industry's first offline computational inspection product to its solutions set. With its existing portfolio of advanced computational lithography solutions, the move represents a natural extension of Luminescent's expertise into the critical area of photomask inspection. A premier company in Asia is the first customer to qualify the new computational defect review product in volume production.
During the photomask inspection process, operators manually sort through and evaluate defect images to determine if the photomask will result in the desired wafer print. This is time consuming, and since the process is subject to operator variability, it is often inconsistent and unreliable. Luminescent's computational solution provides automated mask defect review and dispositioning based on aerial images of the photomask. The product accepts images from commonly used mask defect inspection and review tools, enhances the images, and quickly and accurately determines if the defects are critical or not. Operator errors are eliminated and defect review cycle time is significantly reduced, in some instances by greater than 75 percent. "The expedited qualification of our new computational defect review product demonstrates the importance of computational inspection in mask shops today and in the future," said Dr. Moris Kori, President and CEO of Luminescent. "Computational inspection, along with computational lithography, validates our assertion that, for the first time in the history of the semiconductor industry, Moore's law is being enabled by software innovation rather than advances in hardware-centric lithography and mask inspection technologies."
Computational defect review opens a broader field which Luminescent calls computational lithography and inspection (CLI). Computational lithography (or computational scaling) uses mathematical models to improve the resolution of light across a critical layer of an integrated circuit (IC). It has become the most viable and economic approach for extending optical lithography for several generations. Computational inspection integrates with computational lithography by using similar mathematical approaches to filter for photomask defects by simulating pattern errors on final silicon.
Luminescent provides computational lithography and inspection solutions to the semiconductor industry. Luminescent is a privately-held, venture-backed company based in Palo Alto, California.