High-NA EUVL: Automated Defect Inspection Based on SEMI-SuperYOLO-NAS


A new technical paper titled “Towards Improved Semiconductor Defect Inspection for high-NA EUVL based on SEMI-SuperYOLO-NAS” was published by researchers at KU Leuven, imec, Ghent University, and SCREEN SPE.


“Due to potential pitch reduction, the semiconductor industry is adopting High-NA EUVL technology. However, its low depth of focus presents challenges for High Volume Manufacturing. To address this, suppliers are exploring thinner photoresists and new underlayers/hardmasks. These may suffer from poor SNR, complicating defect detection. Vision-based ML algorithms offer a promising solution for semiconductor defect inspection. However, developing a robust ML model across various image resolutions without explicit training remains a challenge for nano-scale defect inspection. This research’s goal is to propose a scale-invariant ADCD framework capable to upscale images, addressing this issue. We propose an improvised ADCD framework as SEMI-SuperYOLO-NAS, which builds upon the baseline YOLO-NAS architecture. This framework integrates a SR assisted branch to aid in learning HR features by the defect detection backbone, particularly for detecting nano-scale defect instances from LR images. Additionally, the SR-assisted branch can recursively generate upscaled images from their corresponding downscaled counterparts, enabling defect detection inference across various image resolutions without requiring explicit training. Moreover, we investigate improved data augmentation strategy aimed at generating diverse and realistic training datasets to enhance model performance. We have evaluated our proposed approach using two original FAB datasets obtained from two distinct processes and captured using two different imaging tools. Finally, we demonstrate zero-shot inference for our model on a new, originating from a process condition distinct from the training dataset and possessing different Pitch characteristics. Experimental validation demonstrates that our proposed ADCD framework aids in increasing the throughput of imaging tools for defect inspection by reducing the required image pixel resolutions.”

Find the technical paper here. Published April 2024.

Ying-Lin Chen, Jacob Deforce, Vic De Ridder, Bappaditya Dey, Victor Blanco, Sandip Halder, Philippe Leray, arXiv:2404.05862v1.

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