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Wafer and Mask Inspection for Quality Control

Semiconductor wafer inspection

Semiconductor mask inspection

In semiconductor manufacturing, yield drives costs, so manufacturers inspect products at many points between bare wafers and packaged ICs, seeking to identify defects as soon as possible. As lithography geometries shrink, inspection systems need to be able to resolve defects on progressively deeper sub-micron scales (eg. 45 nm, 32 nm, 22 nm...). In the highest-performance situations, the features are so small that visible light can no longer resolve them, and inspection systems must use deep ultraviolet (DUV) wavelengths for illumination.

The key is always to capture yield-limiting defects while reducing the overall time for inspection. The trend is towards more points of inspection, which means inspection system throughput becomes vital; the imaging systems must provide ever-higher speed and resolution, often in the gigapixel throughput range. Every increase in speed also reduces the exposure period (and the number of photons available), so imagers must also deliver regular increases in sensitivity, and not just in the visible range. DUV imaging usually requires backside thinned (BST) imagers to maximize quantum efficiency (QE). But whatever the wavelength, as cameras increase performance, all downstream components must also deliver more performance to turn camera data into the information manufacturers need to take action.

Teledyne DALSA meets these challenges with some of the highest perfomance sensors, cameras, framegrabbers, vision processors, and imaging software in the industry. Teledyne DALSA's Falcon2 CMOS cameras delivers multi-megapixel resolution and high frame rates for area scan inspection systems. And the incredible sensitivity of our advanced TDI line scan cameras (including custom designs with BST, MHz line rates, and multi-gigapixel throughput) is crucial to the highest-performance wafer inspection systems in the world.

Downstream, Teledyne DALSA's extensive range of framegrabbers and vision processors harness torrents of data from almost any manufacturer's cameras. Teledyne DALSA's Xtium and Xcelera framegrabbers deliver leading-edge performance, and its Anaconda vision processor offers real-time image processing to accelerate inspection system decisions.