May 22, 2014. KLA-Tencor has announced the Teron SL650, a new reticle quality-control solution for IC fabs that supports 20-nm design nodes and beyond. With 193-nm illumination and multiple STARlight optical technologies, the Teron SL650 provides the sensitivity and flexibility required to assess incoming reticle quality, monitor reticle degradation, and detect yield-critical reticle defects, such as haze growth or contamination in patterned and open areas. In addition, the Teron SL650’s production throughput supports the fast cycle times required to qualify the increased number of reticles associated with advanced multi-patterning techniques.
“For IC manufacturers, understanding the reticle state is a central component of patterning process control as changes in reticle quality can have a devastating impact on every wafer printed,” said Yalin Xiong, Ph.D., vice president and general manager of the Reticle Products Division (RAPID) at KLA-Tencor. “With the Teron SL650, our team has incorporated state-of-the-art reticle inspection technologies on a compact platform suitable for the IC fab, producing a reticle quality-control system with advanced sensitivity, high productivity, and extendibility for future nodes. By monitoring incoming reticles for critical defects and identifying progressive defects and changes to the mask pattern during production, our Teron SL650 can help chipmakers protect device yield, performance and cycle time.”
The Teron SL650 supports a mix of reticle types within the fab by using STARlightSD and STARlightMD to produce superior defect capture and comprehensive inspection coverage on single- and multi-die reticles, respectively. Chipmakers can also use the innovative STARlightMaps technology to track reticle degradation over time and identify CD, film thickness, anti-reflective coating, and other variations across the reticle—changes in reticle quality that can affect the lithographic process window or pattern printing. Moreover, the Teron SL650 is EUV-compatible, enabling early collaboration with IC manufacturers on in-fab EUV reticle inspection requirements.
Multiple Teron SL650 reticle inspection systems have been installed at foundry, logic, and memory manufacturers worldwide where they are being used for incoming quality check and re-qualification of reticles used in advanced IC manufacturing. To maintain the high performance and productivity demanded by leading-edge production, the Teron SL650 systems are backed by KLA-Tencor’s global comprehensive service network.