Nikon’s Semiconductor Inspection Technologies Group (SITECH) has announced the introduction of the AMI-3000 wafer inspection system, the first of a new generation of wafer inspection systems designed to meet the automated 300mm wafer production in the 90nm technology node.
According to SITECH, the system is designed primarily to address after-develop inspection, but can also be adapted to serve nearly all post-process inspection steps within a fab.
The AMI-3000s automated macroscopic wafer inspection unit features a wafer imaging system that captures the entire wafer surface area and achieves an extraordinary throughput of more than 150 wafers per hour.
Built to provide rapid and accurate inspections, the AMI-3000 is said to be fully capable of screening 100 percent of the post-lithography product flow. Additionally, the AMI employs a new filtering technology, which can omit previous layer pattern interference, which restricts imaging inspection to the patterned top layer.
As the industry progresses towards the 90nm technology nodes and inspection demands go beyond the ability of human sight, the AMI-3000 can automate this visual inspection step by utilising its specially designed diffractive and scattering optics, eliminating the subjectivity and margin of error that comes with human inspection.
‘The requirements for automated wafer inspection are increasingly demanding. As IC designs exceed the 90nm technology node, visual inspections become less and less feasible in a fab environment due to the diminishing diffraction angles from the tightly packed lines and spaces,’ noted Wayne Lam, US application engineer of Nikon’s SITECH.
The AMI-3000 is also supported with tested and proven automated defect identification and categorisation software tools. Optional backside and edge defect detection modules are available to compliment the system.