MILPITAS, Calif., March 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Today KLA-Tencor Corporation™ (Nasdaq: KLAC) announced the SpectraShape™ 8660 and 8810 dimensional metrology systems, featuring AcuShape™2 modeling software developed jointly with Tokyo Electron Limited (TEL). The new SpectraShape tools are able to fully characterize the three dimensional shapes of complex features on integrated circuits (ICs)—and monitor these shapes at production speeds. The exceptional performance of these new tools is critical when engineers are faced with complicated structures such as high-k metal gates, where sub-nanometer profile variations can have significant impact on transistor performance, or dual-damascene contacts, where a small modulation in the bottom diameter can seriously impact device yield or reliability.
Despite considerable process control challenges, IC manufacturers have begun to incorporate geometrically complex structures in order to garner more performance from each square centimeter of a silicon wafer. For these structures, the top-down view that a critical dimension scanning electron microscope (CD-SEM) provides may not be sufficient for ensuring that the structures are being built to specifications. KLA-Tencor's new SpectraShape systems use a diverse array of optical technologies to characterize the structures comprehensively and rapidly. Patented algorithms combine and analyze the multiple signals to produce a detailed description of the shape of an IC feature and identify any deviations beyond allowed tolerances. With their multi-channel design, the SpectraShape 8660 and 8810 systems have broad applicability across the IC fab, from the early layers of leading-edge transistors to the last interconnect layers.
"One of the challenges of introducing complex shapes into the circuit design is that there are more ways for small process variations to affect device performance," said Ahmad Khan, vice president and general manager of KLA-Tencor's Films and Scatterometry Technologies (FaST) division. "Our engineers have built the new SpectraShape systems for extraordinary flexibility, precision and repeatability to meet our customers' next-generation shape metrology requirements."
Optical dimensional metrology requires advanced mathematical modeling to interpret the signals from the hardware, and the new AcuShape2 software streamlines the modeling process for both KLA-Tencor's standalone and TEL's integrated metrology (IM) systems. "The new AcuShape2 software package accelerates the process of building robust, usable 3D shape models," said Jim Hamajima from Timbre Technologies, a wholly owned subsidiary of TEL and KLA-Tencor's partner in developing the 3D modeling software that powers the new SpectraShape systems. "We've also introduced a user interface that allows fab engineers to build models on their own—keeping the details of their proprietary IC structures within the walls of the fab."
The broad capabilities of the SpectraShape 8660 and 8810 with AcuShape2 are enabled by the following features:
- Full-featured, flexible hardware with patented ability to combine signals from multiple channels to characterize highly complex IC structures
- New model building user interface, designed for use by fab engineers with or without assistance from outside experts
- Accelerated model building and reduced measurement time compared with previous-generation KLA-Tencor optical CD tools
The SpectraShape 8810 differs from the 8660 by adding a deep ultraviolet (DUV) illumination option to improve sensitivity for advanced materials.
New SpectraShape dimensional metrology systems with AcuShape2 software have been shipped to several leading-edge semiconductor fabs in the United States and Asia. To maintain high performance and productivity, the SpectraShape tools are backed by KLA-Tencor's global, comprehensive service network, and can accommodate KlearPoint™, a new service model that utilizes KLA-Tencor experts to proactively manage tool performance through real-time tool monitoring. For more information on KLA-Tencor's dimensional metrology systems, please visit the product web pages at: http://www.kla-tencor.com/metrology/spectrashape-family.html.
The AcuShape trademark is the property of TEL and is licensed to KLA-Tencor.
About Timbre Technologies:
Timbre Technologies is the industry leader in scatterometry based solutions for optical metrology and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Tokyo Electron Limited.
Tokyo Electron Limited, established in 1963, is a leading supplier of innovative semiconductor and FPD production equipment worldwide. In Japan, TEL also distributes computer network related products and electronic components of global leading suppliers. To support this diverse product base, TEL is strategically located around the world. TEL is a publicly held company listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. http://www.tel.com/eng
KLA-Tencor Corporation (NASDAQ: KLAC), a leading provider of process control and yield management solutions, partners with customers around the world to develop state-of-the-art inspection and metrology technologies. These technologies serve the semiconductor, data storage, LED, photovoltaic, and other related nanoelectronics industries. With a portfolio of industry-standard products and a team of world-class engineers and scientists, the company has created superior solutions for its customers for over 30 years. Headquartered in Milpitas, California, KLA-Tencor has dedicated customer operations and service centers around the world. Additional information may be found at www.kla-tencor.com. (KLAC-P)
Forward Looking Statements:
Statements in this press release other than historical facts, such as statements regarding SpectraShape 8660's and 8810's expected performance, trends in the semiconductor industry (and the anticipated challenges associated with them), expected uses of the SpectraShape 8660 and 8810 by KLA-Tencor's customers, and the anticipated cost, operational and other benefits realizable by users of the SpectraShape 8660 and 8810 tools, are forward-looking statements, and are subject to the Safe Harbor provisions created by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are based on current information and expectations, and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from those projected in such statements due to various factors, including delays in the adoption of new technologies (whether due to cost or performance issues or otherwise), the introduction of competing products by other companies or unanticipated technological challenges or limitations that affect the implementation, performance or use of KLA-Tencor's products.
SOURCE KLA-Tencor Corporation