Rudolph Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: RTEC) today announced the availability of its NovusEdge™ system for edge, notch and backside inspection of unpatterned wafers. The company plans to ship multiple systems totaling more than $3M by year end to fill existing orders from two customers. The new system is the result of a multi-year collaboration with bare wafer manufacturing partners that require one inspection tool capable of detecting defects near the wafer’s edge, bevel, back-side and notch. The NovusEdge system meets the stringent new requirements for defect control at the edge and backside of wafers being manufactured for 10nm process nodes. The system provides up to 50 percent faster throughput and two orders of magnitude better edge sensitivity than incumbent technology.
“Gartner estimated the unpatterned wafer inspection market at over $400M in 2017,” Tim Kryman, senior director of product marketing explained. “The bulk of this is focused on finding front surface defects as small as 10nm. However, our development partners also required tighter defect control at the wafer bevel and backside, to ensure the stringent quality standards required for these process nodes. We estimate the NovusEdge system’s addressable market at 15 – 20 percent of the overall unpatterned market.”
The NovusEdge system uses multiple cameras and advanced imaging technologies to build a high-resolution, composite image of the entire wafer bevel then applies sophisticated analytical routines to identify and classify defects as small as the sub-micron level. On the backside it utilizes high-speed laser-scanning to detect particles, scratches, area defects and haze.