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New Product: UVision 4 defect inspection system from Applied handles patterning layers at 22nm

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UVision 4 system from Applied MaterialsProduct Briefing Outline: Applied Materials has launched the ‘Applied UVision’ 4 wafer inspection system, enabling IC manufacturers to detect yield-limiting defects in the critical patterning layers of 22nm and below logic and memory devices. UVision 4 extends Applied’s DUV laser imaging technology to deliver the sensitivity and productivity needed to rapidly locate and identify defects previously unseen by any other inspection system. The UVision 4 system is already the tool of record at multiple leading flash manufacturers where it is used for 32nm production and in the development of 22nm and EUV lithography processes.

Problem: A critical challenge is finding and characterizing defects in the minute features created by the latest immersion lithography and double patterning techniques.

Solution: The UVision 4 system combines enhanced sensitivity and productivity with ease of use in a powerful, versatile solution for the most advanced patterning challenges. Enhanced light intensity, optimized scattered light collection (40% greater collection) [i.e., greyfield (GF)] together with the industry’s smallest GF pixel size and suite of noise reduction capabilities raise performance to a new level. These sensitivity enhancements enable the UVision 4 to detect ultra-small defects of sizes and types undetectable by previous technology. UVision 4 performs simultaneous BF and GF inspection with throughput up to 35% higher than that of its predecessor. Advanced noise reduction techniques optimize localized detection sensitivity. Innovative algorithms enable simultaneous detection of systematic mask induced defects (i.e., "haze" defects) and random defects at production worthy throughput made possible by an enhanced image processor. Wide dynamic range detection schemes eliminate the multiple region-specific scans previously required, enabling regions of a chip with differing contrasts to be imaged with optimal sensitivity in a single pass without compromising throughput.

Defect inspection of patterned layers at the 22nm node and below.

Launched in 2005, the UVision platform took brightfield inspection into the DUV era by introducing simultaneous brightfield and scattered light (grayfield) DUV laser inspection to the semiconductor industry. Applied has now advanced this technology, combining DUV laser illumination, programmable polarization and ultra-sensitive scattered light detectors to achieve benchmark inspection sensitivity. Existing UVision users can take advantage of the new capabilities introduced in the UVision 4 via a convenient upgrade package, allowing chipmakers a rapid, cost-effective route to keep their defect inspection capabilities at the leading edge while using their existing fab assets.

March 2010 onwards.

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