REHOVOTH, Israel, Dec. 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Nova Measuring
Instruments Ltd. (Nasdaq: NVMI) announced that Applied Materials, Inc. has
completed a comprehensive evaluation program together with STMicroelectronics
(ST) in Crolles, France, that demonstrated superior results using the 200mm
Applied Mirra Mesa CMP system, configured with the NovaScan 2020 Copper
integrated metrology unit. ST found that this integrated system is highly
accurate in the measurement of erosion and the detection of copper residue.
These demonstrated capabilities are key to enabling the reduction of scrap and
the improvement of cycle time at the Crolles-1 facility.
Dominique Labrunye, Director of Process and Equipment Engineering at
STMicroelectronics, Crolles, said, "The exceptional performance of the Applied
Mirra Mesa system with Nova integrated metrology has shown a capability to
increase the productivity of our dual damascene copper CMP process. Our joint
work with Applied Materials and Nova has helped identify a key enabler to
cycle time reduction as well as improvements in both equipment and fab
The evaluation of Nova's in-line Copper metrology system on an Applied
Mirra Mesa polisher was conducted over a six-month period at ST's Crolles site
using its copper production process and production wafers. ST found that the
integrated technology demonstrated the capability to eliminate the need for
off-line, stand-alone monitoring by collecting and analyzing process data from
every wafer immediately after polishing. Its ability to monitor process
excursions helped shorten ramp time and improve yield.
Russell Ellwanger, Vice President and General Manager of Applied
Materials' Planarization and Plating Product Business Group, said, "Our joint
copper CMP program with ST and Nova is extremely beneficial and has helped us
develop the advanced capabilities of the Applied Mirra Mesa system for copper
technology. The combination of enhanced polishing precision, higher device
yield and improved system operating performance is a powerful advantage for
our customers who want to minimize the difficulties of moving to a new chip
The non-contact, non-intrusive optical measurement technology of the
NovaScan 2020 Copper unit on the Applied Mirra Mesa CMP system uses
spectrophotometric technology to measure and detect copper and barrier metal
residues as well as erosion of the copper arrays, enabling improved control of
the polish process and the elimination of time-consuming off-line
measurements. The NovaScan 2020 Copper technology is used in combination with
Applied Materials' existing on-board monitoring tools, iScan and FullScan,
which precisely control over polishing and measure copper film thickness, to
provide the tightest possible wafer-to-wafer control. The Nova unit is
available on the Applied Mirra(R) and Applied Reflexion(R) CMP systems.
Dr. Giora Dishon, CEO of Nova Measuring Instruments, said, "Our success at
ST with the Nova 2020 Copper demonstrates the tremendous potential of this
technology for 90nm volume manufacturing. Besides being a key step in the
strategic effort between Applied Materials and Nova to develop advanced
process control for copper CMP, it also validates our approach to combining
multi-channel Spectrophotometry and image processing in one tool."
Nova Measuring Instruments Ltd. (Nasdaq: NVMI) develops, designs and
produces integrated process control systems for the semiconductor
manufacturing industry. Nova provides a broad range of integrated process
control solutions that link different semiconductor processes and process
equipment. The Company's website is www.nova.co.il.
About Applied Materials
Applied Materials (Nasdaq: AMAT) is the largest supplier of products and
services to the global semiconductor industry. Applied Materials' web site is
Chai Toren, CFO and Vice President
Nova Measuring Instruments Ltd.
Investor relations Contacts:
Ehud Helft / Kenny Green
Gal IR International
E-mail : Ehud.Helft@galir.com
SOURCE Nova Measuring Instruments Ltd.