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Rudolph ships new Explorer Inspection Cluster and installs Macro Inspection system

03 December 2008 | By Syanne Olson | News > Wafer Processing

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Rudolph Technologies, Inc. has announced two key highlights for the company. It has shipped its new Explorer Inspection Cluster to an unnamed chip manufacturer in Japan and installed its NSX 115 Macro Inspection System at an unnamed European fab. The Explorer Inspection Cluster provides an edge and backside inspection system with low cost-of-ownership to the IC industry, while the NSX is used for high-volume inspection and metrology of next-generation production processes.

The Explorer’s edge and backside modules both use image-based inspection for a more in-depth data set than light scattering techniques. Ardy Johnson, Rudolph’s Vice President of Marketing. stated, “Controlling edge and backside defectivity has become one of the critical factors for enabling 45nm and 32nm processes, and the Explorer offers the right combination of sensitivity and cost of ownership to address these issues. In addition, our Discover data analysis software, offered as an option, further enhances efficiency by finding and classifying defect pattern signatures, thus eliminating the time-consuming task of classifying thousands of individual defects. The Explorer Inspection Cluster can be configured with the optimum combination of inspection capabilities to minimize cost of ownership and maximize return on investment.”

The NSX Series is a fast, repeatable macro defect inspection solution that is used for final assembly, test and packaging applications. It was designed for the back-end manufacturing environment and will support one of the first applications of TSV manufacturing to be produced for CMOS imaging sensors. 

Rajiv Roy, Rudolph’s Vice President of Business Development and Director of Back-End Product Management, said, “The TSV package for sensors is made up of a complex stack of materials, including glass, epoxy, and of course, silicon. The NSX proved itself to be flexible enough to inspect various materials and, as such, can be used at multiple stages of the overall assembly of the TSV sensor”. He continued by stating,  “As evidenced by the competitive evaluation, the NSX is likely the best fit for this customer and this particular application. TSV is still an emerging application and process challenges certainly remain.  But, the NSX is designed to provide an inspection and metrology solution that addresses these challenges for both process development and high-volume production—on the same platform.”

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