Rudolph Technologies has announced that a leading memory manufacturer in Asia has placed orders totalling over $8 million USD for process control equipment to support the ramp of their latest high-performance stacked memory devices. The equipment spans front- and back-end applications. It includes MetaPULSE metrology systems for plating and etch control and NSX 330 systems for two- and three-dimensional (2D/3D) inspection and metrology throughout the back-end process. The systems are scheduled to ship in the first quarter of this year.
“Controlling the etch process is critical for high-performance memory stacks at advanced nodes,” said Mike Goodrich, vice president and general manager of Rudolph’s Process Control Group. “Rudolph’s MetaPULSE system is widely used to measure opaque materials, like metals, for critical processes at sub-20nm nodes. We are happy to see its capabilities now applied to new process steps for controlling hard mask etch and plating, which are challenged by increased memory density. With the MetaPULSE G system, our customer was able to obtain the critical on-product metrology required to achieve high device yields, while at the same time, reducing process-related costs by eliminating monitor wafers.”
Goodrich continued, “The through silicon via (TSV) and bump processes used to connect individual die in stacked memory devices are exceedingly complex and need careful monitoring and control. Our NSX system combines high-speed inspection and metrology to provide the sensitive defect detection and accurate measurements needed to help ensure TSV interconnects meet specifications. The system’s new 3D metrology capability measures the coplanarity of the micro bumps added to completed TSVs to make external connections. Coplanarity is required to ensure good connections and high yields for these high-performance devices.”
Elvino Da Silveira, Rudolph’s vice president of marketing, elaborated, “Rudolph expects to see significant growth in multi-die packages. This order illustrates the strength of our offerings in this and a range of similar processes, from 2.5D and fan-out to the TSV processes now emerging for high-performance applications in data centers and advanced computing. As the complexity of devices and packages increases, we expect the value of, and demand for, our technologies to increase as well.”