SAN JOSE, Calif., — February 13, 2008 — KLA-Tencor (NASDAQ: KLAC) today introduced a new family of mask inspection systems offering wafer fabs flexible options to qualify incoming masks and inspect production masks for contaminants that reduce yield and increase production risk The TeraFab systems are offered in three base configurations to match the distinct inspection requirements of logic and memory fabs, as well as different mask generations. These configurations provide chipmakers with advanced tools for cost-effective mask quality control.
“In advanced fabs, progressive mask contamination defects are a complex problem with multiple sources. The increase in mask contamination at 65nm and below represents a critical yield risk,” said Harold Lehon, vice president and general manager of KLA-Tencor’s Reticle and Photomask Inspection Division. “Because improving mask reliability is a key industry priority, we are working with customers around the world to develop high-sensitivity and cost-effective mask contamination inspection strategies. Our new TeraFab mask inspection systems feature key advances in detection algorithm technology that can significantly reduce yield loss while also enabling customers to choose the right combination of inspection capabilities for their unique needs, providing improved inspection efficiency and lower overall cost of ownership.”
The new TeraFab systems extend KLA-Tencor’s market-leading TeraScan platform through recent algorithm advancements to the highly successful STARlight2™ technology. STARlight2 detects crystal growth and progressive defects on production photomasks – a critical class of yield killers that significantly impact device performance and reliability over time. The new STARlight2+ (SL2+) algorithm improves on the STARlight inspection technology to enable 65nm and 45nm production as well as 32nm development.
The advances provided by the SL2+ algorithm can be used across all of the systems’ multiple pixel sizes, thus addressing a wide range of technology nodes, including enabling STARlight inspection on the smallest, most advanced 72nm pixel. This SL2+ algorithm technology finds both larger and smaller defects compared to its predecessor. It also enables greater productivity through effective use of a larger pixel at an equivalent sensitivity, which can cut inspection time nearly in half for a given application.
The TeraFab family of systems includes:
TeraFab SLQ-2X – Primarily for logic customers, this system contains the latest and most advanced technology, with the completely new STARlight2+ algorithm and smallest pixels for highest sensitivity, to address the broadest array of applications in leading edge fabs. It is equally applicable to IQC or mask requalification use cases. With extendibility to the sensitivity required for 32nm development, the SLQ-2X is the most flexible, highest performance TeraFab system.
TeraFab Q-3X is a specialized system for multiple-die requalification and incoming quality control (IQC) applications common to memory fabs, including Flash memory. This system’s highly efficient operation means lower CoO than previous systems, yet its sensitivity enables it to inspect 45nm-generation memory masks for contamination. With good sensitivity and performance for fabs needing die-to-die coverage, the Q-3X system offers the best combination of inspection performance, extendibility and CoO available.
TeraFab SLQ-1X offers the lowest cost of ownership (CoO) and highest ease of use (EOU) of the Terafab systems. The SLQ-1X handles single-die inspection typical of logic fab requalification applications, and operates at high throughput and low CoO. The system includes many of the latest SL2+ algorithm advances, plus is extendible to smaller pixels if required. By providing fast, usable go/no-go information for mask requalification with excellent CoO, chipmakers now can cost-effectively implement direct mask inspection to increase sampling or perform inspections in situations where they might have risked non-inspection.
TeraFab systems are currently undergoing beta testing and evaluation at leading 45nm-generation logic and memory fabs, in Japan, Taiwan and Europe.
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, California, the Company has sales and service offices around the world. An S&P 500 company, KLA-Tencor is traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol KLAC. Additional information about the Company is available at http://www.kla-tencor.com.
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