KLA-Tencor's K-T Analyzer Enables Real-Time Patterning Control for 65-nm and Below IC Manufacturing
Automated Lithography Cell Correctables Solution Speeds Decision Making for
Advanced Process Control
SAN JOSE, Calif., Feb. 21 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- KLA-Tencor (Nasdaq: KLAC) today formally unveiled the K-T Analyzer lithography correctables platform to effectively accelerate and improve advanced lithography cell qualification and control. Seamlessly integrated with KLA- Tencor's Archer overlay, eCD CD SEM, and SpectraCD optical CD metrology platforms for 65-nm and below IC production, K-T Analyzer provides automated, on-tool analysis of overlay and critical dimension (CD) metrology data in real time -- giving engineers immediate feedback on the quality of their lithography process. This enables them to correct errors quickly, reduce unnecessary wafer rework, and make efficient use of lithography equipment, thereby ensuring that optimal productivity and tight process control are maintained in the lithography cell. K-T Analyzer is now being used to enhance focus/dose analysis applications at several leading logic and memory manufacturers worldwide. "K-T Analyzer is exactly what we need, because it significantly raises our potential to be effective when developing advanced lithography processes," stated Shaunee Cheng, principal scientist at IMEC. "Almost every metrology tool vendor provides raw data, but what we really need is to automatically access the actionable information required to make accurate decisions." The K-T Analyzer platform now encompasses overlay correctables through Archer Analyzer, and CD correctables through the eCD Analyzer and SpectraCD Analyzer components. The new eCD Analyzer collects data -- including CD linewidth, feature shape and profile information -- directly from KLA-Tencor's eCD platform in real time. Using sophisticated algorithms, it converts the data into best exposure and focus, exposure latitude and depth of focus information to provide an immediate snapshot of the size and position of the process window. It characterizes, quantifies and centers process windows across multiple pitch and CD structures, multiple points across the reticle field, and multiple lithography cells. eCD Analyzer can also monitor the process window over time to detect temporal variations. Chipmakers can feed the information generated by eCD Analyzer into a fab's existing advanced process control (APC) or automated equipment control (AEC) framework to enable improved feed-forward and feed-back process corrections, lot or tool disposition, root cause analysis and automated fault detection. This in-depth knowledge is also simultaneously sent to an off-line server for engineering troubleshooting analysis, thus contributing significantly to the speed, efficiency and accuracy of the overall decision-making process. The Archer Analyzer software was previously introduced by KLA-Tencor as an option on the Archer overlay metrology platform. Collecting data directly from the Archer tool in real time, Archer Analyzer provides overlay correctables, overlay disposition, focus/dose product excursion monitor, focus/dose litho cell monitor and engineering analysis functions. "Shrinking design rules and reduced process tolerances mandate more stringent CD and overlay control requirements, which in turn is now inundating our customers with a flood of process data," stated Avi Cohen, executive vice president and group general manager of the Parametric Solutions Group at KLA- Tencor. "They need to be able to make sense of all of this data, and they can't afford to spend countless hours doing off-line analysis when they have product wafers that need to be patterned per specifications and to be sent on for further processing. K-T Analyzer is designed to help ease this burden so our customers can make the right decisions -- the very first time -- in order to keep their lithography process optimized and production running smoothly." eCD Analyzer and Archer Analyzer are both available now as part of the K-T Analyzer platform. SpectraCD Analyzer will be available in the second quarter of 2006. KLA-Tencor will showcase its K-T Analyzer solution at SPIE's Microlithography 2006 Exhibition, February 21-22, at booth #1013 at the San Jose Convention Center, San Jose, Calif. About KLA-Tencor: KLA-Tencor is the world leader in yield management and process control solutions for semiconductor manufacturing and related industries. Headquartered in San Jose, Calif., the company has sales and service offices around the world. An S&P 500 company, KLA-Tencor is traded on the Nasdaq National Market under the symbol KLAC. Additional information about the company is available on the Internet at http://www.kla-tencor.com
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