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Micro/Nano Lithography

Optical defect detector


KLA-Tencor Corporation announces NanoPointTM, a new family of patented technologies for its 2900 Series defect inspection system. NanoPoint represents an entirely new way to discover and monitor defects, at optical speed and on existing optical defect inspection equipment. NanoPoint's value has already been demonstrated on early metal layers, where line-edge roughness (LER) on dense pattern had previously limited the ability to detect tiny yield-killing defects inline at advanced nodes.

NanoPoint focuses the resources of the optical inspection system on critical patterns, as identified either by circuit designers or by known defect sites. During chip development, NanoPoint can reveal the need for mask re-design within hours, potentially accelerating the identification and resolution of design issues from months to days.

During volume production, NanoPoint can selectively track defectivity within critical patterns-allowing process monitoring with sensitivity and speed far beyond the industry's experience to date.

Created for KLA-Tencor's 2900 Series defect inspection system, NanoPoint:

  • Can detect mask defects within hours, during chip development, reducing the amount of time it takes to identify and resolve design issues from months to days
  • Focuses inspection resources on critical patterns to effectively improve the speed and sensitivity of current process monitoring technologies.
  • Represents a new approach to solving customers' need to extend optical inline defect inspection