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Wafer processing device provides quick, accurate leveling

Posted: 10 Nov 2004 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:cyberoptics semiconductor? cyberoptics? wafersense auto leveling sensor? wafersense als?

CyberOptics Semiconductor, a subsidiary of CyberOptics Corp., announced WaferSense Auto Leveling Sensor (ALS), a wireless, wafer-like device that enables quick and accurate leveling of semiconductor wafer processing and automation equipment.

According to the company, WaferSense ALS reduces total cost of tool ownership and eliminates time-consuming changes to wafer process equipment. It is designed to be handled like a 150mm, 200mm or 300mm wafer. Thin and lightweight, the leveling tool can be placed in cassettes, FOUPs, on end effectors, aligners, in load locks and process chambers to quickly ensure that all stations are level and coplanar, the press release said.

The device provides precise pitch and roll measurementsaccurate to 0.03㡪that can be logged to relate coplanarity with yield and determine the ideal tool adjustments for best yields. Atmospheric and vacuum compatible, the wireless device does not outgas, and has a HEPA filter that contains any particulate matter within the sensor.

Process engineers, maintenance and field service engineers are often tasked with leveling semiconductor equipment due to tool set-up and commissioning, failures, preventative maintenance or tool reconfiguration, CyberOptics explained. This process can take several hours to accomplish, causing equipment down-time and loss of revenue. Compared to traditional wired or manual methods, the company shared, its WaferSense ALS reduces the time it typically takes to accomplish this task to about one hour, since the user is not required to break down the equipment or defeat the vacuum chamber.

"Misaligned wafer processing equipment can take a considerable toll on a semiconductor manufacturer's bottom line," said Marketing VP Evelyn Brosnan. "WaferSense ALS is designed to help engineers quickly and accurately make leveling and coplanarity adjustments so fab equipment can get online faster. Improved yield and throughput are realized by reducing scrap and enabling the production of more good die per unit time."

WaferSense ALS allows engineers to easily set levels or take level measurements using LevelView's real-time "level bubble" graphic feedback. Levels can be set to any reference plane within the sensor's operating range. Users can define Go/No Go regions and log data and notes for future reference. Parametric readouts for battery life, sensor temperature and connection status are visually represented within the control panel, added the company.

The WaferSense sensor operates at least six hours without recharging. Once it is returned to its charging case it can recharge automatically. Its accompanying WaferSense link (Bluetooth communication) plugs into a laptop's USB port for wireless communications with the sensor, and operates with Windows 98SE, 2000, ME and XP OSes.

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