KLA-Tencor Corporation and Tokyo Electron Limited (TEL) have announced AcuShapeTM, a new modeling and library-generation package to meet optical critical dimension metrology requirements for the 32nm node and below. Developed as part of a cooperative agreement between KLA-Tencor and Timbre Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of TEL, this new software package leverages the strength of the two industry leaders to enable metrology engineers in IC fabs to measure the dimensions of 3D logic and memory structures, such as FinFETs*, bulb RCATs**, and structures created by the advanced patterning technique called spacer pitch splitting. This new software package operates on KLA-Tencor's stand-alone optical critical dimension platform, SpectraCDTM, and Timbre Integrated Metrology (IM) CD systems.
As fabs prepare their next-generation chips, they are turning to innovative patterning technologies and designs to enhance device performance and solve power-management issues. A new technique called spacer pitch splitting (SPS) enables fabs to print smaller lines and spaces to enhance device speed and lower costs. In order to solve leakage current issues associated with small, densely spaced lines, three-dimensional transistors have also been introduced. The shapes of these SPS and 3D transistor structures are new to the semiconductor industry, and control of their widths and profiles can be critical to device yield or performance. Unlike established CD-SEM technology, which can measure line widths but has limited ability to measure profiles, the optical CD technology enabled by AcuShape is well-suited for measuring both line widths and profiles of 3D features.