editor's blog
Subscribe Now

Ready for More Inspection

Not long ago we covered a set of inspection tools announced by KLA-Tencor. They have recently announced yet another inspection tool, which they call CIRCL. The idea is that it’s actually three or four tools in one, with stations for frontside, backside, and edge inspection as well as one for spot check and review all integrated into one cluster, with loaders for up to three lots at a time.

(And yes, apparently backside matters. Years ago when I worked in the fab, it was particles on the frontside that were a problem. These days, a particle on the back can actually have noticeable effects on the front. That’s just crazy…)

These stations can be run in parallel, either for a single lot, with each wafer making the rounds, or for three lots, with each lot occupying a station.

This setup is intended to identify defects of 5 µm or larger, whether particles or defocus issues or any of a host of problems that may indicate that adjustments are necessary to the equipment before yield drops.

The system includes user-programmable logic that helps minimize inspection: the results of the first inspection will determine which other inspections are needed; the user-programmed logic drives that decision. So if a wafer looks clean to start with, it gets little further attention; if there are problems seen, then the nature of those problems determines where the wafer will spend extra time.

Just to contrast this setup with the ones we discussed before, this is a rougher inspection – meaning it goes more quickly, at 155 wafers per hour, inline. The others are inline as well, but they look for defects on the scale of the design rules – much smaller, so they take longer, and therefore lots are sampled more sparsely than they are for CIRCL inspection.

You can find more information in their release

Leave a Reply

featured blogs
Dec 2, 2022
A picture tells more than a thousand words, so here are some pictures of CadenceLIVE Europe 2023 Academic and Entrepreneur Tracks to tell a story. After two years of absence, finally the Academic Dinner could take place with professors from Lead Institutions and Program Chair...
Nov 30, 2022
By Chris Clark, Senior Manager, Synopsys Automotive Group The post How Software-Defined Vehicles Expand the Automotive Revenue Stream appeared first on From Silicon To Software....
Nov 30, 2022
By Joe Davis Sponsored by France's ElectroniqueS magazine, the Electrons d'Or Award program identifies the most innovative products of the… ...
Nov 18, 2022
This bodacious beauty is better equipped than my car, with 360-degree collision avoidance sensors, party lights, and a backup camera, to name but a few....

featured video

Maximizing Power Savings During Chip Implementation with Dynamic Refresh of Vectors

Sponsored by Synopsys

Drive power optimization with actual workloads and continually refresh vectors at each step of chip implementation for maximum power savings.

Learn more about Energy-Efficient SoC Solutions

featured paper

Algorithm Verification with FPGAs and ASICs

Sponsored by MathWorks

Developing new FPGA and ASIC designs involves implementing new algorithms, which presents challenges for verification for algorithm developers, hardware designers, and verification engineers. This eBook explores different aspects of hardware design verification and how you can use MATLAB and Simulink to reduce development effort and improve the quality of end products.

Click here to read more

featured chalk talk

Automotive Electronic Seat Control

Sponsored by Infineon

Today’s automotive seat design must keep in mind size, cost, battery life and passing EMC testing. In this episode of Chalk Talk, Amelia Dalton and Rick Browarski from Infineon investigate the newest innovations in automotive electronic seat control. They take a closer look at the anatomy of power seats today, the role that an ECU plays in the control of electronic seats and how Infineon chip set offerings can help you with your next smart power seat design.

Click here for more information about information about Infineon Seat Control