Rudolph Technologies and DISCO Corporation partner to improve wafer saw process

Rudolph Technologies, Inc. and DISCO Corporation of Tokyo, Japan, announced a collaborative partnership to deliver leading-edge hardware and software solutions to optimize the wafer saw unit processes. These comprehensive solutions will enable their customers to consistently improve the quality and productivity of their advanced packaging products. The complete wafer saw solution includes: DISCO’s fully automatic dicing saw for high-throughput, dual-cut processing, DISCO’s ablation laser saw and stealth dicing saw, Rudolph’s NSX inspection system for post-saw inspection, Rudolph’s new Equipment Sentinel fault detection and classification (FDC) software for real time monitoring and feedback of DISCO’s dicing tools, and Rudolph’s Discover Enterprise yield management software for sophisticated wafer-to-process tool correlations.

The evolution of semiconductor device materials for advanced packaging has resulted in more stringent dicing process requirements. Process deviations and excursions during die singulation can result in chips and cracks that impact the long-term reliability of devices. The agreement between DISCO and Rudolph, which took effect June 1, 2015, will drive a new level of innovation in saw processing, including improved kerf control, chipping minimization and overall cost-of-ownership enhancement resulting in solutions that will accelerate advanced packaging adoption.

“With the increasing use of complex materials in today’s semiconductor devices, dicing is an increasingly critical process step. DISCO is committed to providing the highest quality wafer saw solutions to address our customers’ most demanding challenges. We continue to invest in our industry-leading wafer dicing equipment, leveraging advanced sensors and data acquisition technologies to provide even greater insight into the performance of our equipment,” explains Noboru Yoshinaga, executive operating officer, general manager, sales division at DISCO. “Through our collaboration with Rudolph we are able to turn data into valuable knowledge for our customers, making DISCO tools easier to ramp, monitor and control.”

“For the past year, our collaboration with DISCO has allowed us to understand and address the increasing challenges faced by our mutual customers resulting in a close partnership capable of providing comprehensive solutions to improve device reliability and data reporting, while at the same time lowering their costs and decreasing ramp times,” states Mike Plisinski, Rudolph’s executive vice president and chief operating officer. “Demand for turnkey solutions is increasing and we are committed to continuing to develop and build on this success to meet that growing demand.”

According to Thomas Sonderman, vice president and general manager of Rudolph’s Software Business Unit, “Our new, automated FDC software, Equipment Sentinel, offers advanced packaging manufacturers significant benefits that, to date, have not been fully exploited by the industry. For example, the bi-directional correlation of equipment sensor data with diced product data gives users a comprehensive, easy-to-understand view of their process, allowing them to use predictive analytics to take immediate action, thus reducing product jeopardy and improving the overall effectiveness of their manufacturing operations. The savings that result from avoiding a single failure at a critical process step can easily justify the return on investment for this type of process control solution.”

Equipment Sentinel, which was announced today, combines key wafer-level data with high-fidelity tool signal and event data into a single framework, giving users a comprehensive, easy-to-understand view of their processes and equipment. Currently installed at multiple beta sites worldwide, fab personnel will use Equipment Sentinel software to extract the maximum value from the voluminous amounts of data generated in today’s semiconductor operations.

“Many applications have been developed over the years to address advanced tool monitoring and control for semiconductor manufacturing, but they are typically focused on either wafer or equipment state information, not both,” said Sonderman. “Equipment Sentinel integrates these formerly independent data streams into a powerful monitoring and control engine to enable timely actionable intelligence, greatly enhancing optimization capabilities with predictive analytics in the fab.”

Rudolph’s new Equipment Sentinel software can efficiently identify and isolate the cause of abnormal operating conditions and implement corrective actions to reduce product jeopardy and increase overall equipment effectiveness.

“The ability to quickly detect, isolate and correct actual tool excursions provides unparalleled value to a manufacturing operation. In many cases, the detection of a single critical incident more than offsets the total cost of this type of system,” added Sonderman. “Equipment Sentinel is capable of acquiring, processing and analyzing the massive amounts of data generated in today’s high-tech manufacturing environments, providing a new avenue for corrective actions to ensure the maximum return on investment for semiconductor manufacturers.”

Stop by the Rudolph booth #5580 for more information.

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