Macrodefect inspection for 3D packages
The NSX 320 automated macro defect (≥5um) inspection system targets 3D advanced packaging processes such as through-silicon vias (TSV), providing critical inspection capabilities for edge trimming metrology, wafer alignment during bonding processes, sawn wafers on film frames, and other TSV-related processes. It incorporates the company's XSoft2 software including high-speed staging, on-the-fly image capture, and a range of sensor and objective options. Features include critical dimension measurement, 3D sensors for TSV depth or bump metrology, and the ability to flip wafers to allow inspection of both front and back surfaces. Rudolph Technologies, Flanders, NJ; 973/691-1300, www.rudolphtech.com.
DRAM probe card
The upgraded SmartMatrix 100XP 300mm full-wafer contact probe card for DRAM devices offers parallelism of 850 die, 60% more than the SM100 platform, allowing single-touchdown DRAM wafer test. A "Device Under Test" ("DUTlet") partitioned architecture improves signal and power integrity for low-noise testing of 3X-2Xnm low-voltage LPDDR2 mobile and DDR3 commodity DRAM devices. Features include improved scrub performance to allow smaller and more controlled distribution of scrub marks across the wafer, thus reducing pad damage by up to 15%; and "superior" thermal performance to quickly reach and maintain test temperatures. FormFactor, Livermore, CA; 925/290-4095, www.formfactor.com.
Hierarchical 3D extractor
The H3D hierarchical 3D extractor for post-layout verification of array-based and repetitive design structures, including memories, FPGAs, and image sensors. It offers hierarchical parasitic extraction, hierarchical netlisting, unlimited capacity, and field-solver accuracy. Features include full-chip extraction and analysis with 3D accuracy; 3D field solver accuracy, faster than 2.5D pattern-matching performance on large hierarchical circuits; full-chip capacity eliminates netlist cutting and stitching; and support for industry-standard backend flows. Users can specify the accuracy required on a net by net or block by block basis. H3D hierarchical extraction results (which support R, C, distributed RC, and RCCc) are design dependent, but have shown 20×-120× performance improvements compared to flat extraction, the company says. Silicon Frontline Technology, Campbell, CA; 408/963-6916, www.siliconfrontline.com.
Desktop nanoimprint for R&D
The compact nanoimprint (CNI) tool is a compact (25cm3), "first print" (only flat alignment) desktop thermal nanoimprint lithography tool designed for small labs and research groups that requires no fixed lab installation, with performance comparable to commercially available nanoimprint tools. Features include integrated heater element and temperature control allowing for fast thermal cycles (60°C-130°C-70°C in <8min), and low imprint pressure (<10bar) e.g. for imprint on InP wafers. The tool can be used with any regular stamp, but also with dedicated stamps provided by the company. An external laptop and a power supply are included, as is a software package for easy process setup and logging of data. NIL Technology, Kongens Lyngby, Denmark; +45-3171-9036, www.nilt.com.
Deep-silicon etch for MEMS
The PlasmaPro Estrelas100 deep silicon etch system targeting R&D can run Bosch and cryo etch technologies in the same chamber, to handle processes from smooth sidewalls to high etch rates, without the need to change chamber hardware. Compatible with 50-200mm wafers includ-ing SOI, it offers heated liners (for increased plasma stability and reduced polymer buildup), fast-acting closed-coupled MFCs utilizing ALD-designed software, and smaller chamber volume for higher gas conductance. "Active spacer" technology reduces ion bombardment at the wafer surface and minimizes mask undercut. Continuous system data logging (50ms) ensures effective traceability of each wafer and process run. The system is also available on a four- or six-sided cluster tool. Oxford Instruments Plasma Technology, Bristol, UK; +44/0-1934-837000, www.oxford-instruments.com.
The Laser µFAB a tabletop laser microfabrication workstation optimized for research applications for both additive and subtractive processes, including 3D microfabrication by two-photon polymerization (TPP), laser ablation, and surface structuring of various materials, volumetric writing of waveguides, and microfluidics. Specific applications using TPP include photonics, microelectronics, and MEMS. Materials that can be used in ablation and surface structuring applications include metals, polymers, semiconductors, glasses, ceramics, and biological targets. It can be configured for use with femtosecond laser oscillators, amplifiers, OPAs, and other types of lasers in the visible to near-infrared (VIS-NIR) range. Sub-micron spot sizes are achieved at the sample with high numerical aperture (NA) objectives; simple lenses can be used in less critical applications. The standard Laser µFAB includes high-precision stages covering 100mm X and Y and 4.8mm Z, with 50nm resolution. The top plate includes a holder with features for slides, cover slips, wafers, or large samples. Newport, Irvine, CA; 800/222-6440, www.newport.com.
Microfluidics modeling software
A new microfluidics module for the COMSOL simulation software helps researchers and engineers study microfluidic devices and rarified gas flows. Target application areas include lab-on-chip devices, digital microfluidics, biosensors, electrokinetic and magnetokinetic devices, inkjet technology, and vacuum system design. Interfaces for single-phase flow simulate applications such as compressible gas flows at low pressures and creeping flows that typically occur in lab-on-a-chip systems. Two-phase flow simulations can be executed using level set, phase field, and moving mesh methods. Essential microfluidic effects are incorporated, such as electrophoresis, magnetophoresis, dielectrophoresis, electroosmosis, and electrowetting. It also offers model chemical diffusion with multiple dilute species. COMSOL, Burlington, MA; 781/273-3322, www.comsol.com.