New wafer fab tool provides enormous cost saving haze management capability.
Delray Beach, Florida, July 15, 2008 – Today, RAVE LLC introduced its revolutionary Rhazer® Haze Removal System.
Global semiconductor wafer fabs are struggling with an increasingly serious and costly lithography problem. Wafer stepper exposures initiate the growth of crystalline defect contamination on reticles commonly known as “Haze.” The haze formation rate reduces the number of wafer exposures and forces lithography line stoppage. Reticles with haze must be returned to the mask shop for pellicle removal and wet clean. However, excessive wet cleans damage the reticle absorber materials and deposit additional chemical residues causing the haze to re-form at an increased rate. Recent wet clean and environmental control techniques have helped to slow haze formation, but show no promise of a haze prevention solution. The haze problem has worsened with each technology node shrink and is having a significant impact on wafer manufacturing costs.
“The Rhazer® system does not prevent haze, but allows the wafer fab to manage it!” commented RAVE President and CEO, Barry Hopkins, “The Rhazer® system is designed to reside in the wafer fab and provide a resident capability to completely remove haze from both sides of reticles in less than one working shift. The process is dry and does not require removal of the pellicle. Haze is expected to reform, but the Rhazer® cleaning process causes no damage to the mask absorber materials, meaning reticles can be cleaned as often as needed without leaving the control of the fab line.” Mr. Hopkins also emphasized “The Rhazer® process is consistent with the industry’s future environmental goal of using all ‘Green’ process technologies. The system has a small footprint, low energy consumption and produces no harmful effluents.”
Brian Grenon, President of Grenon Consulting, Inc. is famous for working with mask makers and wafer fabs around the world for over 10 years analyzing the haze phenomenon, trying to develop haze prevention and management solutions. Mr. Grenon was invited by RAVE to assess the new Rhazer® technology and was quoted as saying, “After nearly a decade of industry yield and revenue losses due to reticle haze, RAVE has developed a unique solution to the reticle haze problem, The solution both abates and removes haze without pellicle removal and damage to the reticle.”
The Rhazer® system can be used to:
- Pre-clean masks providing longer wafer exposure life.
- Re-clean masks during wafer stepper lithography runs; quickly returns reticles to the wafer line, increasing line management flexibility and reducing the need for duplicate reticles.
- Post-clean masks immediately after use and just before transfer to the reticle stocker to neutralize haze formation during long term storage.
RAVE is already working with several device manufacturers around the world demonstrating the Rhazer® process technology. Delivery of the first system is expected in Q1 2009.
About RAVE LLC
RAVE LLC is a global supplier of advanced process solutions to the Semiconductor and Photomask Industries. Since 2001, RAVE has been recognized as the industry leader in advanced photomask repair with products that include high-speed laser and precision nanomachining systems designed for the accurate removal of defects on ≥32nm photomasks. With the introduction of the new Rhazer® Haze Removal System, RAVE is once again pioneering another breakthrough in advanced equipment technology that is expected to bring enormous cost savings to Semiconductor wafer fabs around the world.
RAVE LLC is headquartered in Delray Beach, Florida and maintains sales and service offices in Asia, Europe and the USA. All product and service names are trademarks or registered trademarks.
This press release contains forward-looking statements. The Companies undertake no obligation to update the forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.