Manufacturing Bits: July 12

Detecting zeptojoules Aalto University has broken the world’s record for microwave detection. Specifically, researchers detected zeptojoule microwave pulses using a superconducting microwave detector, based on proximity-induced Josephson junctions. This broke the record by fourteenfold, according to researchers. Microwaves are a form of electromagnetic radiation. They have frequencies... » read more

ASML To Buy Hermes

Looking to expand into new markets, ASML Holding has entered into an agreement to acquire e-beam wafer inspection specialist Hermes Microvision (HMI) in a cash transaction valued at 2.75 billion euros (US$3.08 billion). With the proposed acquisition of Taiwan’s HMI, ASML will enter two new markets—-wafer inspection as well as mask inspection for extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography. In ... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: April 26

Multi-beam inspection For some time, Singaporean startup Maglen has been developing a multi-beam e-beam inspection tool technology. Now, Maglen has reached two milestones. First, it has devised a full column test stand. The test stand includes a mechanical column and software. The second milestone is also significant. “We also dropped our beam and obtained our very first images,” sai... » read more

Speeding Up E-beam Inspection

Wafer inspection, the science of finding killer defects in chips, is reaching a critical juncture. Optical inspection, the workhorse technology in the fab, is being stretched to the limit at advanced nodes. And e-beam inspection can find tiny defects, but it remains slow in terms of throughput. So to fill the gap, the industry has been working on a new class of multiple beam e-beam inspectio... » read more

Next EUV Challenge: Mask Inspection

Extreme ultraviolet ([gettech id="31045" comment="EUV"]) lithography is still not ready for prime time, but the technology finally is moving in the right direction. The EUV light source, for example, is making progress after years of delays and setbacks. Now, amid a possible breakthrough in EUV, the industry is revisiting a nagging issue and asking a simple question: How do you inspect EUV p... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: March 24

Mouse brains to multi-beam At the recent SPIE Advanced Lithography conference, Sematech provided an update on its multi-beam, e-beam inspection program. The goal is to develop a next-generation inspection tool, which could be faster than traditional e-beam inspection and could one day displace brightfield inspection. “Optical inspection is having trouble detecting particles that are small... » read more

5 Disruptive Mask Technologies

Photomask complexity and costs are increasing at each node, thereby creating a number of challenges on several fronts. On one front, for example, traditional single-beam e-beam tools are struggling to keep up with mask complexity. As a result, the write times and costs continue to rise. Mask complexity also impacts the other parts of the tool flow, such as inspection, metrology and repair. I... » read more

Maglen: Multi-Beam E-Beam Inspection

Wafer inspection, the science of finding defects on a wafer, is becoming more challenging and costly at each node. In fact, the ability to detect sub-30nm defects is challenging with today’s inspection tools, which are primarily based on two separate technologies—optical and e-beam. In the inspection flow, chipmakers first use e-beam inspection, mainly for engineering analysis. E-beam is... » read more

Blog Review: Oct. 22

What is UX? The User Experience, of course. Rambus' Aharon Etengoff notes that the IoT UX is now the subject of a Harvard Business Review article. A long list of hurdles are expected at the 10nm process node, including multiple levels of local interconnects, more complex layout rules, timing problems, and a slew of others. Cadence's Richard Goering puts it all in perspective. Mentor's R... » read more

Custom Print For Multi-Column Inspection

By Tony Luo What are the challenges in optical inspection? Let's take a closer look. Click on the video below to find out. [youtube vid=vzFSyHwD_AU] —Tony Luo is the founder of Singapore-based Maglen. » read more

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