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New Product: Applied Materials employs ‚??virtual sensors‚?? in new APC platform

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AMATProduct Briefing Outline: Applied Materials, has launched ‘NeXus SPC' its next generation advanced process control software and hardware, used exclusively on a range of Applied's 300mm process tools. The new diagnostic tool performs split-second analysis of process conditions which is critical information that can increase system uptime and yield, protect wafers from process drift and enable more cost-effective maintenance schedules. Currently, Applied customers employ the NeXus platform on more than 350 of its process systems worldwide.

Problem:
Unlike any other system monitoring tools, NeXus SPC monitors critical process parameters up to 100 times per second (100Hz), combining data from multiple process and chamber sensors to create real-time patterns that immediately spotlight and track changing process conditions.

Solution: ‘NeXus SPC' provides a real-time window into the complete process environment, including factors upstream of the process chamber itself. In addition to real-time and historical data visualization capabilities, a powerful feature of NeXus SPC is its use of ‘Virtual Sensors'. These algorithms construct models from many different types of process and chamber sensors and create sophisticated alert capabilities based on users' pre-defined control limits.

Applications: Applied ‘Vantage' ‘Radiance Plus RTP(1)', Applied ‘Vantage RadOx' ‘RTP' and Applied ‘Centura Epi(2)' systems. Additional systems will feature NeXus SPC in the future.

Platform: NeXus SPC hardware is installed in a system's factory interface and requires no
additional footprint. The platform leverages both existing and emerging equipment connectivity standards to enable tools and processes to utilize the high-resolution analysis required for 300mm manufacturing; it can correlate data across time, across systems, and across fabrication facilities, helping customers quickly find and correct process or hardware excursions.


Availability: June 2006 onwards.

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