ZEISS Group of Oberkochen, Germany is fueling its growth strategy by expanding into the process control market. Through its new Process Control Solutions (PCS) business unit – part of the ZEISS Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology (SMT) business group – it will draw on ZEISS’ established innovations in microscopy and leverage its core technology solutions and partnerships to address the particular needs of semiconductor customers.
“We see a strong trend in semiconductors toward complex 3D chip structures and new materials,” says Dr Karl Lamprecht, head of the SMT business group. “As development cycles lengthen and R&D costs climb, the role of metrology changes. Our customers need effective process control solutions delivering integrated, actionable information that speeds time to problem resolution and time to production.”
With shrinking structure sizes, ever more sophisticated designs and hundreds of individual working steps, the semiconductor manufacturing workflow has become increasingly challenging, says ZEISS. Fast and cost-effective process control solutions play a key role in ensuring the functioning of semiconductor devices. ZEISS already provides a portfolio of lithography optics and mask metrology and repair solutions, and is now bringing its decades of semiconductor equipment experience into the market for process control solutions.
The PCS business unit will utilize and expand on ZEISS’ existing product portfolio, including its core proprietary microscopy technologies, to penetrate the semiconductor lab and fab space. Key products to be deployed include electron microscope products Crossbeam and MultiSEM (the latter of which incorporates the firm’s unique multi-electron-beam technology), ion-beam microscope ORION NanoFab, as well as the Xradia Versa and Xradia Ultra non-destructive 3D x-ray microscope systems. Process control solutions will be offered across the spectrum of semiconductor manufacturing process steps, including front end of line (FEOL), back end of line (BEOL), packaging and assembly.
“Our process control solutions offer comprehensive structural, chemical and electrical information,” says Dr Raj Jammy, head of the PCS business unit in Pleasanton, CA, USA. “By creating a single window into ZEISS for our semiconductor customers, we will enable them to address their process control challenges with seamlessly integrated technologies, helping them get their products to market faster,” he adds.
Jammy, who has more than 20 years of extensive semiconductor industry experience, joined ZEISS in February 2016. After obtaining a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Northwestern University, he started his career at IBM in New York and held subsequent leading positions at SEMATECH and Intermolecular. He and his team will collaborate closely with global customers to address semiconductor inspection and review, failure analysis, defect detection, 3D tomography, and process characterization and analysis.
To aid in this effort, a new ZEISS Customer Center in the Bay Area was opened in Pleasanton on 15 June. Located near the heart of Silicon Valley, this facility joins ZEISS’ global network of customer centers in making its portfolio of optical, ion, electron and x-ray microscopy offerings (including process control solutions) available for demonstrations, application development and training.
ZEISS is showcasing its latest microscopy products and solutions for semiconductor manufacturing in booth #5214 (North Hall) at the SEMICON West 2017 event in San Francisco, CA (11-13 July).