Articles about 'Inspection'

Winter Issue 2017

21 December, 2017


"EUV Is Coming"

After many years of hearing that EUV is almost ready for prime time, the tide is finally coming in. A decade of slow but steady progress has resulted in exposure tools that can expose on the order of 1,000 wafers a day on a regular basis. This may be shy of the requirements for high volume manufacturing (HVM), but it is certainly more than enough to support solid development programs and pilot line production. Almost all leading edge manufacturers have announced plans for early introduction in the 2018-19 timeframe, with HVM to follow within 1-2 years if the economics and technology are proven to be viable. Papers at the SPIE Photomask Technology (BACUS) + EUV Lithography conference in Monterey, SPIE Advanced Lithography 2017 conference and Photomask Japan 2017 symposium all highlighted the emerging maturity of EUV tools and processes, as well as the remaining challenges. It is certainly an exciting time for the EUV community, and a time of impending change for the mask making world.

November 21 2017 Issue

21 November, 2017


This is the introduction to a series of 10 installments which will discuss fundamental truths about process control—inspection and metrology—for the semiconductor industry.
By fundamental, we imply the following:

  • Unassailable: They are self-evident, can be proven from first principles, or are supported by the dominant behavior at fabs worldwide
  • Unchanging: These concepts are equally true today for 28nm as they were 15 years ago for 0.25μm, and are expected to hold true in the future
  • Universal: They are not unique to a specific segment of process control; rather they apply to process control as a group, as well as to each individual component of process control within the fab

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