Gaithersburg, Maryland--Nov. 9, 2000--The U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) Advanced Technology Program (ATP) has awarded $13.7 million in funding for a project to develop advanced wafer inspection technology for next-generation lithography (NGL) applications at the 50-nm and 70-nm nodes.
A team of researchers from Carnegie-Mellon University, KLA-Tencor Corp., and Tropel Corp. will work to develop an optical patterned wafer inspection tool capable of detecting defects as small as 35-nm, with a throughput as much as 18 times faster than existing optical wafer inspection tools.
?We are confident that this program will result in the development of a new wafer inspection solution that will enable chipmakers to stay on track with the semiconductor roadmap and make it both economically and technologically feasible for them to quickly ramp up 70-nm device production," says Dennis Ralston, director of business development at KLA-Tencor and manager of the Advanced Wafer Inspection for NGL Program. "This step is critical in driving continued advances in communications, computing, and consumer electronics.?