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12 February 1997 New methodology for thoroughly characterizing the performance of advanced reticle inspection platforms
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Abstract
For years equipment suppliers have opened their doors to evaluations by potential customers. Unfortunately, the only feedback a supplier received concerning its performance was a purchase order (or the lack of one). Neither was there any benchmarking against other suppliers' results to identify niche areas or spark necessary tool improvement programs. The result was an industry where new tool development projects ran the risk of being dictated by conjecture and assumption rather than a more empirical approach. This paper presents a method by which reticle inspection tools can be characterized more comprehensively. While grounded in common sense, some of the techniques used were considered quite unorthodox. By consulting the equipment supplier as to which test vehicles might best demonstrate its tool capability or might expose a weakness in the competitor's tool, topics that the customer might not otherwise have thought of were covered in the evaluation. Securing permission to feed back comprehensive results to all suppliers also guaranteed future focus on critical issues and limited development activities to only those deemed value-added by the customer. In addition, specific test battery topics were derived from consultations with semiconductor customers. The intent was to understand which reticle patterns and defect types were critical to the end user. The expected outcome after this type of evaluation is a quantified performance benchmark which facilitates industry-wide reticle inspection capability improvement over a shorter period of time.
© (1997) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Benjamin George Eynon Jr. "New methodology for thoroughly characterizing the performance of advanced reticle inspection platforms", Proc. SPIE 3236, 17th Annual BACUS Symposium on Photomask Technology and Management, (12 February 1997); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.301180
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