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Posted: January 6, 2010

Advantest Announces Availability of its CD-SEM Metrology Tool for Photomask Applications

(Nanowerk News) Advantest Corporation announced availability of its new SEM-based Critical Dimension (CD) measurement system for photomasks. The E3610 and E3620 advanced mask metrology tools, developed and manufactured by Advantest since 2004 on an OEM basis for a leading supplier of metrology systems, are now available directly from Advantest as part of its advanced technology product lineup. Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) technology relies on an electron beam to take measurements and create images on a semiconductor wafer at extremely high resolutions – much greater than those able to be captured by optical microscopes. Semiconductor manufacturers require CD-SEM measurement systems to measure the critical dimension of the miniature-sized circuits in a semiconductor and to assure accuracy in manufacturing.
Employing industry-leading technology, Advantest’s E3610 and E3620 offer the precision and linewidth repeatability required to provide continuous yield improvement at the 65nm and 45nm production nodes, as well as support for 32nm and 22nm process development.
Commenting on Advantest’s product launch into the front-end of semiconductor manufacturing, R. Keith Lee, president and CEO of Advantest America, Inc. stated, “The depth and breadth of Advantest’s commitment to funding research and development is evidenced by the proprietary technology embedded within these metrology tools. Advantest has long understood the importance of continually expanding its portfolio by developing expertise in nascent technologies, and with these new products we are proud to demonstrate our capabilities and ongoing technological leadership.”
Key Features
As semiconductor device features continue to shrink, photomask patterning requirements have created new challenges in lithography. Device manufacturers now require advanced mask level CD metrology for pattern linewidth measurements. The E3610/E3620 CD-SEM measurement system – already in use by multiple leading semiconductor and photomask manufacturers – provides extremely accurate, highly repeatable linewidth measurement functionality that supports IC production and design down to the 3Xnm node. Development at the 22nm node level is ongoing, keyed to coming requirements for even greater precision and stability.
The E3610 and E3620 utilize Advantest’s unique electron optical column design, enabling accurate CD control. Boasting superior long-term operating stability and CD variation of less than ±1nm, the E3610/E3620 are best-in-class metrology tools, backed by the Advantest brand and the company’s renowned worldwide support infrastructure.
About Advantest
Advantest Corporation is the world’s leading automatic test equipment supplier to the semiconductor industry, and also produces electronic instruments and systems. A global company, Advantest has long offered total ATE solutions, and serves the industry in every component of semiconductor test: tester, handler, mechanical and electrical interfaces, and software. Its logic, memory, mixed-signal and RF testers and device handlers are integrated into the most advanced semiconductor production lines in the world. Founded in Tokyo in 1954, Advantest established its first subsidiary in 1982, in the USA, and now has subsidiaries worldwide. Among them, Advantest America, Inc. is based in Santa Clara, CA., Advantest Europe GmbH is based in Munich, Germany, and Advantest Taiwan Inc. is based in Hsinchu, Taiwan.
Source: Advantest (press release)

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