Applied Materials, Inc., and the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems IPMS, Germany´s leading advanced 300mm semiconductor research center, have announced a landmark collaboration. Particularly, they will aim for Europe´s largest technology hub for semiconductor metrology and process analysis.
To be located at the Center Nanoelectronic Technologies (CNT) of Fraunhofer IPMS in Dresden, the technology hub lies in the heart of Silicon Saxony, Europe’s largest semiconductor cluster. The hub will be equipped with Applied Materials’ state-of-the-art eBeam metrology equipment. This includes its VeritySEM® CD-SEM (critical dimension scanning electron microscope) systems. Moreover, Applied engineers and R&D experts will staff the said hub.
“Fraunhofer IPMS and its partners will benefit from access to Applied’s industry-leading eBeam metrology systems”, said Dr. Benjamin Uhlig-Lilienthal, Head of Business Unit Next Generation Computing at Fraunhofer IPMS.
Furthermore, Ulig-Lilienthal said the new technology hub will offer advanced wafer-level metrology in its industrial CMOS environment. Moreover, with Fraunhofer IPMS’s unique ability to loop wafers directly with semiconductor manufacturers.
“Our collaborative metrology hub will accelerate learning cycles. (In addition), the development of new applications for the Fraunhofer Institute, Applied Materials and our customers and partners in Europe,” said James Robson, Corporate Vice President for Applied Materials Europe.
In addition, Robson said, “This unique technology hub will have the capability to test and qualify processes on a variety of substrate materials and wafer thicknesses critical to applications across the diverse European semiconductor landscape.”
Metrology is crucial in the production of microchips. This as it enables the accurate measurements needed to precisely monitor and control the quality of individual semiconductor manufacturing steps and sequences. For that reason, chipmakers use metrology equipment at critical points to help validate physical and electrical characteristics and maintain target yields.