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Onto Innovation Announces Third Customer has Qualified the Atlas V System for Gate-All-Around Development and Pilot Production

Onto Innovation Inc. announced it has received repeat orders of its Atlas V optical critical dimension (OCD) platform for its uniquely powerful metrology solution for gate-all-around (GAA) / nanosheet transistors, the next-generation device architecture for advanced logic.

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“The GAA device is extremely challenging for dimensional metrology. The device structure is significantly more complex than previous FinFET architectures, with a need to control each nanosheet channel separately to tighter control limits measuring much smaller changes,” said Jiangtao Hu, senior director of technology for Onto Innovation.

As the industry migrates from FinFET transistors toward GAA (nanosheet) devices, key challenges directly impacting device performance have emerged. Gate length is defined at the selective source-drain etch, and it directly impacts drive current, which determines transistor performance. The inner spacer etch determines the source-to-gate capacitance, which also directly impacts transistor performance.

“For a GAA device, the physical properties of the ‘worst’ nanosheet will define key device performance metrics. In a stacked nanosheet device, the physical dimensions of each sheet need to be measured individually, especially after selective source drain recess etch and the inner spacer etch. Using conventional OCD (scatterometry) tools it isn’t possible to separate the signals related to each nanosheet due to high levels of parameter correlation, but the Atlas V system can overcome this challenge,” said Nick Keller, senior technologist, strategic marketing for Onto Innovation.

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The Atlas V system, utilizing the latest improvements in spectrum signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), coupled with Onto Innovation’s Ai Diffract™ model-guided machine-learning modeling engine, enables the clean separation of signals related to each nanosheet. Individual nanosheet measurements, from an inline tool capable of measuring a single location in less than a second, facilitates a process control feedback loop that is critical for ramping yield to HVM levels.

Prior to the introduction of this revolutionary solution, the ability to conduct GAA metrology of buried, recessed nanosheets was only possible in HVM using slower and potentially damaging HV-SEM tools that are unable to differentiate individual nanosheets.

Onto Innovation is proud to be a trusted strategic partner in the development of GAA technology through the delivery of its Atlas-based GAA metrology solution, helping accelerate the rollout of this new transistor technology that will enable logic devices to continue to scale performance, power, area, and cost (PPAC).

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