Wednesday, September 05, 2012

#CHIPS: "KLA-Tencor aims below 20-nm"

As chip dimensions dip below 28-nanometer semiconductor manufacturers need to update their tools to accommodate multi-patterning, overlay and other errors that were easier to detect at larger dimensions. To keep pace, KLA-Tencor recently release upgraded tools that will take chips down to sub-20 nanometer sizes: R. Colin Johnson

KLA-Tencor's Archer 500 has new illumination options that expand overlay measurement capability to new lithography layers and materials.

Chip equipment vendor KLA-Tencor Corp. rolled out new tools for overlay control and photomask inspection Wednesday (Sept. 5) at the Semicon Taiwan tradeshow in Taipei.

Multi-patterning is growing in use and prominence as semiconductor manufacturing moves below the 28-nm node. But multi-patterning—a lithography technique that enhances feature density on the wafer—also introduces new sources of overlay errors and mask defects.

KLA-Tencor's new Archer 500 Overlay Metrology System is designed for high-volume manufacturing using multi-patterning at sub-28 nanometer nodes. By measuring and characterizing overlay errors, the Archer 500 improves accuracy and measurement speed as well as enabling the use of thin resist stacks and new materials such as opaque hard masks, according to the company.
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