Delivery of the 100th measuring system
A WAFERinspect AOI System was delivered to a customer in the semiconductor sector at the end of 2021, the altogether 100th measuring system Confovis GmbH produced in its 12-year corporate history. With its WAFERinspect AOI, Confovis offers a tool with automated wafer handling that allows confocal 3D measurements for semiconductors and MEMS applications, apart from defect inspection.
Since 2009, the Jena-based Confovis GmbH has developed and produced measurement and inspection systems for industry and research and relies on customer-focused as well as application-oriented system solutions. Based on the patented confocal measurement method Structured Illumination Microscopy, we design, in close cooperation with our customers, measurement and inspection solutions for applications in the fields of semiconductors & MEMS, surface technology, automotive & aerospace as well as the optical industry.
We like to thank our customers who have enabled our corporate success in those past 12 years. Right from the beginning, we have considered each customer project as a commitment to the customer, we have grown with our customers’ requirements and we have, based thereon, consistently developed and enhanced our products.
Defect Inspection and metrology solutions for semiconductors & MEMS
The 100th system now sold constitutes the start into a new era: The Confovis WAFERinspect AOI is an AOI tool with automated wafer handling that can identify and classify macro and micro defects larger than 0.5 µm with high process reliability. Both the system’s optical quality and its high mechanical precision as well as its real-time control allow inspections in the visible light range, which have not been possible in this way until now. This also provides for several focal planes in the case of micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) and semiconductors, the dies of which contain several layers. Unknown defects on dies, reticles or even on the entire wafer can be found with the Golden Sample Method and be classified rule-based with neural networks – without any programming skills. Artificial intelligence according to the Deep Learning Method is used in the case of smaller defects on varying surfaces both for identifying and classifying defects.
Apart from the defect inspection, which has played a dominating role among the customer applications in the meantime, the WAFERinspect systems from Confovis offer special metrology solutions for semiconductor and MEMS applications. These solutions are based on the principle of structured illumination microscopy (SIM), as has been developed and patented by Confovis, thus allowing topography measurements in the nanometer range. This makes it possible, as an example, to check abrasive processes in the front-end area, while resonators can be measured in 3D in the back-end area.
The Confovis systems distinguish themselves by their high inspection and measuring speed. It has only been possible to implement this speed by combining the currently available computer hardware with a highly parallelized software architecture.
Optical 3D surface measurement for functional surfaces
Initiated by various inquiries from customers, the product portfolio has been extended by the current tools for the automated optical inspection (AOI). Before that, the focus has been put especially on solutions for the dimensional measurement of functional surfaces used in industry and research with the TOOLinspect surface measuring systems. The confocal measurement method from Confovis now allows a surface measurement in the one-digit nanometer range that is traceable to standards, while the focus variation makes it possible to additionally carry out a measurement of geometries on steep flanks (e.g. on cutting tools). Here again, automation and measuring speed benefit from the current computer technology.
We are looking forward to the next 100 systems and the tasks demanding customers assign to us in this connection. Even in times when the AOI and measuring instrument markets face bottlenecks, we see this situation as a chance to demonstrate our ability and willingness to perform.