5 October 2016 Reticle decision center: a novel applications platform for enhancing reticle yield and productivity at 10nm technology and beyond
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Abstract
In the semiconductor IC manufacturing industry, challenges associated with producing defect-free photomasks have been dramatically increasing. At the 10nm technology node, since the 193nm immersion scanner numerical aperture has remained the same 1.35 as in previous nodes, more multi-patterning and aggressive SMO illumination sources are being used to effectively print smaller feature CDs and pitches. To accommodate such specialized sources, more model-based mask OPC and ILT have been used making mask designs very complicated. This in turn makes mask manufacturing very challenging especially for the defect inspection, repair, and metrology processes that need to guarantee defect-free masks. Over the past few years, considerable innovation have been made in the areas of defect inspection and disposition that has ensured continued predictability of mask quality to wafer and final chip yields. The accurate disposition of each mask defect before and after repair has been facilitated by a suite of automated applications such as ADC, LPR, RPG, AIA, etc. that work together with the inspection, repair, and metrology tools and effectively also provide the best possible utilization of the tool capability, capacity and operator resources. In this paper we introduce a new consolidated applications platform called the Reticle Decision Center (RDC) which hosts all these supporting software applications on a centralized server with direct connectivity to mask inspection, repair, metrology tools and more. The paper details how the RDC server is architected to host any application in its native operating system environment and provides for high availability with automatic failover and redundancy. The server along with its host of applications has been tightly integrated with KLA-Tencor’s Teron mask inspectors. The paper concludes with showing benefits realized in mask cycle-time and yield as a result of implementing RDC into a high-volume 10nm mask-shop production line.
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George Hwa, George Hwa, Raj Bugata, Raj Bugata, Kaiming Chiang, Kaiming Chiang, Suresh Lakkapragada, Suresh Lakkapragada, Vikram Tolani, Vikram Tolani, Sandhya Gopalakrishnan, Sandhya Gopalakrishnan, Chun-Jen Chen, Chun-Jen Chen, Chin-Ting Yang, Chin-Ting Yang, Sheng-Chang Hsu, Sheng-Chang Hsu, Laurent Tuo, Laurent Tuo, } "Reticle decision center: a novel applications platform for enhancing reticle yield and productivity at 10nm technology and beyond", Proc. SPIE 9985, Photomask Technology 2016, 99851Z (5 October 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2241482; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2241482
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