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1 July 2003 Improving overlay control through proper use of multilevel query APC
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Many state-of-the-art fabs are operating with increasingly diversified product mixes. For example, at Cypress Semiconductor, it is not unusual to be concurrently running multiple technologies and many devices within each technology. This diverse product mix significantly increases the difficulty of manually controlling overlay process corrections. As a result, automated run-to-run feedforward-feedback control has become a necessary and vital component of manufacturing. However, traditional run-to-run controllers rely on highly correlated historical events to forecast process corrections. For example, the historical process events typically are constrained to match the current event for exposure tool, device, process level and reticle ID. This narrowly defined process stream can result in insufficient data when applied to lowvolume or new-release devices. The run-to-run controller implemented at Cypress utilizes a multi-level query (Level-N) correlation algorithm, where each subsequent level widens the search criteria for available historical data. The paper discusses how best to widen the search criteria and how to determine and apply a known bias to account for tool-to-tool and device-to-device differences. Specific applications include offloading lots from one tool to another when the first tool is down for preventive maintenance, utilizing related devices to determine a default feedback vector for new-release devices, and applying bias values to account for known reticle-to-reticle differences. In this study, we will show how historical data can be leveraged from related devices or tools to overcome the limitations of narrow process streams. In particular, this paper discusses how effectively handling narrow process streams allows Cypress to offload lots from a baseline tool to an alternate tool.
© (2003) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Timothy H. Conway, Alan Carlson, and David A. Crow "Improving overlay control through proper use of multilevel query APC", Proc. SPIE 5044, Advanced Process Control and Automation, (1 July 2003);

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