Applied Materials Introduces New Playbook for Process Control Based on Big Data and AI
- New Enlight® optical wafer inspection system combines breakthrough performance with new optics that capture more yield data from every wafer
- ExtractAI™ technology uses the power of AI to quickly classify yield-killing defects and remove noise
- Fastest-ramping inspection system in
Applied Materialshistory helps customers accelerate node development, ramp to high volume faster and sustain higher yields
Semiconductor technology is becoming increasingly complex and expensive, and reducing the time needed to develop and ramp advanced nodes can be worth billions of dollars to chipmakers around the world. Success is gated by the ability to detect and correct defects which is becoming increasingly difficult as line widths shrink and turn nuisance particles into yield killers. Likewise, 3D transistor formation and multiprocessing techniques introduce subtle variations that can multiply to create yield-killing defects that are vexing and time-consuming to root-cause.
New Enlight® Optical Wafer Inspection System: in development for five years, the Enlight system combines industry-leading speed with high resolution and advanced optics to collect more yield-critical data per scan. The Enlight system architecture improves the economics of optical inspection, resulting in a 3x reduction in the cost of capturing critical defects as compared to competing approaches. By dramatically improving cost, the Enlight system allows chipmakers to insert many more inspection points in the process flow. The resulting availability of Big Data enhances “line monitoring,” statistical process control methods that can predict yield excursions before they occur, immediately detect excursions so that wafer processing can be halted to protect yields, and enable root-cause traceback to accelerate corrective actions and the return to high-volume manufacturing.
New ExtractAI™ Technology: developed by Applied’s data scientists, ExtractAI technology solves the most difficult problem of wafer inspection: the ability to quickly and accurately distinguish yield-killing defects from the millions of nuisance signals or “noise” generated by high-end optical scanners. ExtractAI is the only solution in the industry that creates a real-time connection between the Big Data generated by the optical inspection system and the eBeam review system that classifies specific yield signals so that by inference, the Enlight system resolves all of the signals on the wafer map, differentiating yield killers from noise. ExtractAI technology is incredibly efficient; it characterizes all of the potential defects on the wafer map after reviewing only 0.001% of the samples. The result is an actionable map of classified defects that accelerates semiconductor node development, ramp and yield. The AI technology is adaptive and quickly identifies new defects during high-volume production while progressively improving its performance and effectiveness as more wafers are scanned.
SEMVision® eBeam Review System: the SEMVision system is the most advanced and widely used eBeam review technology in the world. With its industry-leading resolution, the SEMVision system trains the Enlight system with ExtractAI technology to classify yield-killing defects and distinguish defects from noise. By working together in real time, the Enlight system, ExtractAI technology and SEMVision system help customers identify new defects as they are introduced in the manufacturing flow, enabling higher yields and profitability. The large installed base of SEMVision G7 systems is already compatible with the new Enlight system and ExtractAI technology.
“Being able to quickly and accurately distinguish yield-killing defects from noise is something fab engineers have struggled with for more than 30 years,” said
“Applied’s new playbook for process control combines Big Data and AI to deliver an intelligent and adaptive solution that accelerates our customers’ time to maximum yield,” said
The new Enlight system with ExtractAI technology is the fastest-ramping inspection system in Applied’s history and is already being used in production at all leading-edge foundry-logic customers worldwide. The SEMVision system has been the industry’s leading eBeam review for over 20 years, with more than 1,500 systems at customer fabs around the world.
About Applied Materials
Photos accompanying this announcement are available at:
Applied Materials Enlight® Optical Wafer Inspection System
The Enlight® optical wafer inspection system combines industry-leading speed with high-performance optics to generate a breakthrough in the cost of capturing yield-critical defects.
Applied Materials' New Playbook for Process Control
Applied Materials’ new playbook for process control brings Big Data and AI technology to the core of chipmaking success. This innovation features new ExtractAI™ technology: the only solution in the industry that creates a real-time connection between the Big Data generated by the Enlight® optical inspection system and the SEMVision® eBeam review system to automatically and dynamically find and classify yield-killing defects faster, better and more cost effectively than legacy approaches.
Source: Applied Materials, Inc.