Nanometrics Incorporated, a leading provider of advanced process control systems, announced the selection of the company's flagship Atlas optical critical dimension (OCD) metrology platform and NanoDiffract® modeling and analysis software, for development and production of third-generation 3D-NAND devices by a leading flash memory manufacturer. The systems will be used across all aspects of 3D-NAND device manufacturing, including control of critical thin film deposition and etch processes for the formation of high-aspect-ratio structures in this customer's most advanced devices.
"Our customers are continuing to invest in advanced research and development of next-generation 3D-NAND devices to drive increases in memory density, which has already surpassed hard disk drives, as well as to improve yield, which in turn translates to lower cost-per-bit and increased manufacturing capacity," commented Dr. Srini Vedula, vice president of OCD/Thin Film Solutions at Nanometrics. "Together, the Atlas and NanoDiffract are playing a key role in accelerating manufacturing ramps and improving process performance, which meaningfully contributes to the competitiveness and financial performance of our customers. This latest selection highlights the extendibility and robustness of our technology platforms as well as our continued success in customer collaborations in the rapidly expanding 3D-NAND market."
Systems will be deployed through the remainder of this year as new factory phases are built out to support additional capacity for these third-generation 3D-NAND devices.
3D-NAND architectures continue to challenge process modules with ever more device layers and higher aspect ratios of key semiconductor features. Non-destructive in-line optical control has proven to be an essential part in the successful development and manufacturing of these devices. Nanometrics' Atlas systems and NanoDiffract software suite, in combination with Nanometrics' IMPULSE® and Trajectory® T3 integrated metrology systems, are proven enablers in comprehensive fab-wide process control. Since its initial launch in 2004, multiple generations of the Atlas system have been deployed across every fab segment for advanced logic, DRAM, 3D-NAND, advanced non-volatile memory, CMOS image sensor and power device manufacturing.