This article is the first in a five-part series on semiconductors in the automotive industry. In this article, we introduce some of the challenges involved in the automotive supply chain. Future articles in the series will address specific process control solutions to those challenges.

In order to maximize the profitability of an IC manufacturer’s new process node or product introduction, an early and fast yield ramp is required. Key to achieving this rapid yield ramp is the ability to provide quality and actionable data to the engineers making decisions on process quality and needed improvements.

The Process Watch series explores key concepts about process control — defect inspection and metrology — for the semiconductor industry. This new series of articles highlights additional trends in process control, including successful implementation strategies and the benefits for IC manufacturing.

A new 5D solution utilizes multiple types of metrology systems to identify and control fab-wide sources of pattern variation, with an intelligent analysis system to handle the data being generated.

Process Watch: Risky business


September 18, 2015

This is the ninth in a series of 10 installments that explore certain fundamental truths about process control–defect inspection and metrology–for the semiconductor industry.

The December 2014 edition of Process Watch suggested that the most expensive defect is the one that goes undetected until the end of line. Indeed, undetected excursions typically result in the scrap of millions of dollars per year of defective semiconductor chips.

There are three main phases to semiconductor manufacturing: research and development (R&D), ramp, and high volume manufacturing (HVM). All of them are expensive and time is a critical element in all three phases.

Anything that degrades the quality of the measurement also degrades the quality of the process because it introduces more variability into the Statistical Process Control (SPC) charts which are windows into the health of the process.

A particle as small as three microns in diameter, attached to the back side of the wafer—the dark side, if you will—can cause yield-limiting defects on the front side of the wafer during patterning of a critical layer.

Is it time for high-brightness LED manufacturing to get serious about process control?  If so, what lessons can be learned from traditional, silicon-based integrated circuit manufacturing?

In the sixth installment in a series called Process Watch, the authors discuss the ins and outs of parametric correlation when using measurements based on reflectometry, ellipsometry, or a combination of the two. Authored by experts at KLA-Tencor, Process Watch articles focus on novel process control solutions.

In the fifth installment in a series called Process Watch, the authors discuss the need for proper reticle cleaning and inspection. Authored by experts at KLA-Tencor, Process Watch articles focus on novel process control solutions.

In the fourth installment in a series called Process Watch, the authors discuss overlay registration and new capabilities to align to buried layers. Authored by experts at KLA-Tencor, Process Watch articles focus on novel process control solutions.

In the third installment in a series called Process Watch, the authors discuss some of the challenges of 450mm wafers. Authored by experts at KLA-Tencor, Process Watch articles focus on novel process control solutions.

In the second installment in a series called Process Watch, the author provides tips on how to make sure you’re reviewing the yield killing defects and not wasting time reviewing nuisance events. Authored by experts at KLA-Tencor, Process Watch articles focus on novel process control solutions for chip manufacturing at the leading edge.

In this first installment of a series called "Process Watch,” experts from KLA-Tencor explain why a defect might be classified as “Not Found” or “SEM Non-visual (SNV),” and how a SNV count can disguise or hide real problems.