SOURCE: Crossing Automation, Inc.

Crossing Automation, Inc.

July 27, 2012 08:00 ET

Crossing Automation Intros Contamination-Free Spartan™ 300 Sorter Environment

New Advanced Environmental Controls Address Emerging Contamination Issues as High Volume Manufacturing Moves Beyond the 32nm Node

FREMONT, CA--(Marketwire - Jul 27, 2012) - Crossing Automation, Inc., a leading designer and manufacturer of fab and tool automation products, today announced three new options for the Spartan 300 that deliver an end-to-end contamination-free sorter environment. The new options target high volume manufacturing at 32nm and below where new levels of contamination control have become a requirement to ensure process performance. Crossing's advanced environmental controls reduce on-wafer defects, prevent cross-contamination and surface oxidation, as well as reduce required tool maintenance to achieve increased device reliability and manufacturing yields.

"As process nodes shrink, contamination at the molecular level is starting to impact device yield and performance," said Michael Brain, vice president of marketing for Crossing Automation. "These issues must be addressed now to ensure that process nodes continue to shrink for 300mm manufacturing. Beyond that, achieving contamination-free manufacturing is critical to enabling the 450mm transition, where particle tolerances will continue to shrink. We have taken a highly proactive approach with these new technologies to deliver an unbroken chain of contamination control while the wafer is in the sorter."

The three new options are the Spartan Enerta™ Purge Option, the industry's fastest available environmental purge; the Chemical Filter Option for Spartan; and the Low Contact Backside End Effector Option. Available independently, the options can be combined to achieve the most contamination-free sorter environment. All products are currently shipping and have seen strong early adoption, with an installed base of over 100 each for the Chemical Filter Option and Low Contact Backside End Effector Option, and multiple orders received for the Spartan Enerta.

"By offering the industry's most stringent environmental controls, we enable our customers to achieve high yields and ultimately ensure device performance," said Brain. "These new options make the Spartan a truly state-of-the-art clean sorter environment and extend its proven manufacturing capabilities well into next-generation production."

Spartan Enerta Option

Using pure, ultra-clean nitrogen, the Spartan Enerta Purge Option is able to achieve relative humidity below 5 percent within 85 seconds for incoming FOUPs, making it the fastest N2 purge available in the industry. It protects the wafers from O2 and H2O exposure, preventing native oxide growth and corrosion of copper interconnects while reducing the impact of chemical residue that could react with water vapor and create additional damage. It also reduces the impact of critical timing between process steps by reducing exposure to oxygen and water vapor.

The Spartan Enerta is a combination front opening unified pod (FOUP) nozzle purge and door purge. The door purge combines a top and side manifold that allows it to maintain purge with the door open and while wafers are moving in and out of the FOUP. Careful gas management and flow control enable a rapid purge while eliminating the particle contamination associated with conventional purging technologies. The system uses advanced recipe-controlled purging that provides complete user control over ramp and flow rates, all under full manufacturing execution system (MES) control.

Chemical Filter Option for Spartan

The Chemical Filter Option for Spartan addresses the issue of airborne molecular contamination (AMC), which, due to its microscopic size, is able to penetrate standard clean room filters. This causes a number of process yield and reliability issues, particularly at the 32nm node and below. Use of this option eliminates AMC and provides filtered air in the minienvironment to ensure the wafers stay clean between FOUPs.

Spartan Low Contact Backside End Effector

The Spartan Low Contact Backside End Effector achieves industry-leading cleanliness to eliminate backside particles, which are increasingly impacting process performance as manufacturing nodes shrink. Crossing's Low Contact Backside End Effector eliminates the migration of edge or backside particles onto the active portion of the wafer to reduce defectivity.

Related Information

New Levels of Environmental Control Required for 32nm Process Performance

About Crossing Automation
Crossing Automation is a leading designer and manufacturer of fab and tool automation equipment, recognized for solving the critical issues facing today's semiconductor device and equipment companies. The company increases fab productivity and reduces equipment costs by consistently delivering fast, reliable 200mm, 300mm and 450mm wafer and carrier handling products, supported by sophisticated control software. The company's solutions are available in multiple configurations to address the customers' desire for maximum flexibility. For more information, visit

Contact Information

  • Crossing Automation Contact
    Michael Brain
    Vice President of Marketing
    +1 510 661 5000
    Email Contact

    Agency Contact (US/EU)
    Amy Smith
    Impress Labs
    +1 401 369 9266
    Email Contact

    Agency Contact (Asia)
    Ina Chu
    Impress Labs
    +1 217 766 1011
    Email Contact