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New Product: Straatum upgrades FDC software to virtual metrology status

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Straatum ProcesswareProduct Briefing Outline: Straatum Processware has made further important upgrades to its real-time fault detection and classification (FDC) software for semiconductor manufacturing. ‘Imprint MX3' is a powerful, new version of its knowledge-based system for FDC with expanded advanced process control (APC) applications.

Problem: Increasing pressures on chipmakers to maximize equipment run time and improve wafer yields, especially during the migration to 300mm production and sub-100nm geometries, has meant that immediate reporting of a tool or process failure is a key requirement. Without it, product wafer loss through mis-processing is inevitable. Reducing the dependence on test wafers for process monitoring in volume production environments can improve cost of ownership.

Solution: Imprint MX3 extends the platform's capabilities beyond FDC. The system now enables expanded APC applications and is a platform for virtual metrology, which further boosts chipmakers' ROI. The new system processes data from multiple advanced sensors, including broadband radio-frequency (RF) and broadband optical sensors, as if the data came from one "super" sensor. This capability significantly heightens sensitivity to yield-impacting excursions and drift that can affect semiconductor tools. For example, Imprint MX3 enables gas-drift sensitivity as low as 3 percent, compared to 10 percent with only RF sensors. It also offers the capability of transferring fault libraries across multiple tools or chambers running the same process, either at the same site or between sites.

Applications: High-volume manufacturing of logic, DRAM and flash devices, where real-time detection and prevention of problems can result in substantial economic benefits.

Platform: The product brings together advanced pattern-recognition and statistical mathematical techniques with best-of-breed sensor technology to provide robust real-time FDC. In knowledge-based fault detection and classification (FDC), a multi-dimensional sensor-space fingerprint of the process-state is constructed. A comparison is made, in real-time, between the current sensor-space fingerprint and a known good baseline state. Deviations can be reported in two ways, determined by the user. Firstly, any statistical deviation from the baseline condition can be flagged as a warning, requiring interdiction or further investigation. Secondly, the fingerprint is also compared, in real-time, with a set of know fault condition fingerprints, stored in the FDC ‘Fault Library.' Both indicators are multiplexed to the ‘Process Index,' the real-time process state indicator. A match with a known fault condition offers immediate fault classification.

Availability: July 2008 onwards.

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