KLA-Tencor Launches the Archer(TM) 300 LCM Overlay Metrology System

New System Designed for Cost-Effective In-Line Monitoring and Scanner Qualification for 1Xnm Half-Pitch Memory and 2Xnm Logic Technologies

MILPITAS, Calif., June 22 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Today KLA-Tencor Corporation (Nasdaq: KLAC), the world's leading supplier of process control and yield management solutions for the semiconductor and related industries, introduced the Archer 300 LCM metrology system. The Archer 300 LCM offers precision and measurement speed significantly better than that of its predecessor, the widely-adopted Archer 200, and features new in-die metrology capability. With these innovations, the Archer 300 LCM can serve as a comprehensive overlay error management solution throughout the fab, meeting the strict specifications required to qualify scanners and tightly control high volume manufacturing of leading-edge logic and memory devices. Upgradeable from existing Archer tools, the Archer 300 LCM represents a high performance, low cost-of-ownership overlay metrology solution for advanced processes.  

"The implementation of novel extensions to 193i lithography has had an enormous impact on the overlay error allowance for critical layers. In particular, the use of double patterning lithography reduces the tolerable overlay error to just a few nanometers at the 32nm node, and subsequent nodes have an even smaller allowance. This restriction is unprecedented," stated Noam Knoll, vice president and general manager of KLA-Tencor's Overlay Metrology Division. "Our new overlay metrology tool, the Archer 300 LCM, meets the stringent specifications required for measuring overlay error on double-patterning and other challenging layers. We have also developed a cost-effective way to enable lithography engineers to take more measurements across the wafer, so that these parameters can be monitored effectively: a combination of increased measurement speed plus the use of very tiny metrology targets placed within the die itself, instead of only in the areas between die. Perhaps most importantly, we are able to provide all of these capabilities in a single, low footprint tool. We believe that the Archer 300 LCM represents a major step forward in solving the difficult overlay issues affecting leading-edge devices."  

The Archer 300 LCM includes several features designed to help chipmakers cost-effectively develop and manufacture 2Xnm logic and 1Xnm half-pitch memory devices:

    --  Improvements to the optical subsystems deliver tighter precision and
        total measurement uncertainty (TMU), better measurement repeatability
        and faster move-acquire-measure (MAM) time than the previous-generation
        Archer 200;
    --  New in-die overlay measurement capability helps chipmakers implement
        complex overlay corrections to enable accurate patterning; and
    --  Upgradeability from widely-adopted, existing Archer tools and
        designed-in extendibility to other metrology capabilities help protect
        fabs' capital investments

Archer 300 LCM systems have been shipped to major memory and logic semiconductor manufacturers worldwide, where they will be used for overlay applications in advanced development and high-volume production. To maintain high performance and productivity, the industry-leading Archer tools are backed by KLA-Tencor's global, comprehensive service network. For more information on the Archer 300 overlay metrology tool, please visit the product web page at: www.kla-tencor.com/metrology/archer-series.html.

About KLA-Tencor:

KLA-Tencor Corporation (NASDAQ: KLAC), a leading provider of process control and yield management solutions, partners with customers around the world to develop state-of-the-art inspection and metrology technologies. These technologies serve the semiconductor, data storage, LED, photovoltaic, and other related nanoelectronics industries. With a portfolio of industry-standard products and a team of world-class engineers and scientists, the company has created superior solutions for its customers for over 30 years. Headquartered in Milpitas, California, KLA-Tencor has dedicated customer operations and service centers around the world. Additional information may be found at www.kla-tencor.com. (KLAC-P)

Forward Looking Statements:

Statements in this press release other than historical facts, such as statements regarding Archer 300 LCM's expected performance, future developments and trends in the semiconductor industry and the anticipated challenges associated with them, expected uses of the Archer 300 LCM by KLA-Tencor's customers, the extendibility of the Archer 300 LCM tool to other metrology capabilities, and the anticipated cost, operational and other benefits realizable by users of the Archer 300 LCM tool are forward-looking statements, and are subject to the Safe Harbor provisions created by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are based on current information and expectations, and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from those projected in such statements due to various factors, including delays in the adoption of new technologies (whether due to cost or performance issues or otherwise), the introduction of competing products by other companies or unanticipated technological challenges or limitations that affect the implementation, performance or use of KLA-Tencor's products.

SOURCE KLA-Tencor Corporation