SOURCE: Advanced Metrology Systems

July 16, 2007 08:00 ET

Advanced Metrology Systems Continues Strong Momentum in 2007

Company Grows 50 Percent, Releases Next Generation MBIR and SurfaceWave™ Tools and Announces Support for New Applications

NATICK, MA and SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - July 16, 2007) - SEMICON WEST -- Advanced Metrology Systems (AMS), a leader in online measurement tools for semiconductor manufacturing, today reported that it surpassed its revenue goals with a 50 percent growth year over year. The company attributes its success to AMS' customer-centric approach to metrology. By working directly with customers to understand their measurement challenges and developing tailored application specific solutions AMS has not only significantly expanded its installed base but also developed a series of new applications solutions for existing and future yield limiting production steps. Over the past year, AMS has continued to invest in its platform and measurement technology releasing the next generation of its award-winning model-based infrared (MBIR) reflectance metrology platform, the IR3100 adding small spot and near-infrared capabilities (See "Advanced Metrology Systems Announces the IR3100S" and "Advanced Metrology Systems Launches IR3100N"). In addition, the company released the revolutionary SW3300A Advanced SurfaceWave™ measurement system (See "Advanced Metrology Systems Releases New SurfaceWave Tool for Multi-Parameter Online Measurements of ECD Copper and Low-k Interconnects").

"Response to AMS in the field has been tremendous," said Dr. Christopher J.L. Moore, CEO of AMS. "Our strong growth is proof that semiconductor manufacturers are looking for metrology solutions providers who are strategic partners to work with them through new challenges as process nodes advance and device sizes shrink as opposed to the traditional supplier/vendor relationship. As a result, AMS is leading the way in bringing the necessary metrology applications and best practices to our customers and you can see the result in the growth of the organization and our bottom line."

The new IR3100 system released in early 2007 is a robust metrology system ideal for DRAM manufacturers and offers 45 percent higher throughput than the previous generation. The higher throughput allows customers to take more measurements per wafer and/or increase yields. Built on an advanced Series 3000 platform the IR3100 can be configured for 200 mm and 300 mm wafer measurements including FOUP or SMIF interfaces. It also includes an isolated Class 1 mini-environment to allow maintenance access without the need to purge the system, an enhanced pattern recognition system and a clean high-speed measurement stage. Coupled with PTO3 third generation automation software from Peer Group, the platform is used worldwide in fully automated E84 fabs with system reliability of better than 98 percent uptime.

Additionally, AMS announced today that the company has expanded its MBIR product portfolio with the new IR 3100N and IR3100S tools. The IR3100N uses an extended near infrared (NIR) measurement making it well suited for online, highly automated measurements of shallow recess structures on product wafers at the 70 nm node and below. The IR3100S uses a new proprietary optical measurement system which results in a spot size (or minimum area) of less than 70 by 70 microns allowing on product chemometrics such as BPSG monitoring as well as increased resolution for 3D etch structures. The new tools leverage the Series3000 platform and are a result of AMS' work with customers to meet their evolving metrology needs.

In the SurfaceWave family of products, AMS announced the new SW3300A Advanced SurfaceWave metrology system. Like its predecessor the AMS 3300 SurfaceWave system, the SW3300A is a highly automated, online measurement system ideally suited for production fabs. The SW3300A uses new proprietary multi-acoustic wavelength data collection and multiple acoustic parameter algorithms to provide higher accuracy multi-layer measurements of Copper/low-k interconnect structures.

"The SW3300A is a significant improvement of the AMS 3300," said Tony Bonanno, director of product development. "The ability to measure at multiple acoustic wavelengths coupled with our fourth generation multiple parameter models enables us to now measure multiple layer properties"

"AMS is well positioned for another year of record growth," said Moore. "Over the next twelve months, we will be adding new application support to our MBIR and SurfaceWave tools. Our focus continues to be on our customers and their needs. AMS's flexibility and agility combined with our expert staff ensures that our customers can partner with us to solve application specific yield limiting problems."

About Advanced Metrology Systems

Advanced Metrology Systems offers an extendable, scalable metrology platform that maximizes return on investment (ROI) by supporting multiple applications and processes. The platform offers fast and detailed results to characterize wafers, unique and comprehensive information on deep trench structures and thorough data analysis options. The AMS proprietary SurfaceWave™ technology provides rapid metal film thickness metrology for interconnect layers in advanced copper/low-k processes, while our unique Model-Based Infrared Reflectometry (MBIR) technology provides structural information on trench features of advanced DRAM devices. AMS has become the metrology solution of choice for DRAM etched structure metrology using the IR3000. In addition, the company's AMS 3300 is the preferred tool for copper metrology solutions to measure patterned ECD copper.