History of Semiconductor Metrology Systems

  • Introduction

    How it all started

    The Semiconductor Metrology Systems division is a leader in the field of metrology and repair solutions for photomasks. The success story began in 1994 when the company delivered its first Aerial Image Measurement System (AIMS™) for the semiconductor industry, the MSM-100. It is used to assess the functionality of photomasks.

    In collaboration with NaWoTec (now part of ZEISS), the company introduced an innovative procedure for repairing defective photomasks. Based on electron-beam technology, the MeRiT system is able to perform extremely precise repairs to eliminate critical photomask defects. The purchase of an Israeli start-up company augmented the portfolio with femtosecond laser technology. This laid the foundation for the development of various new products with which to optimize individual photomask parameters.

    One of the more recent innovative solutions is the PROVE system, which enables customers to measure the position accuracy of structures on photomasks. Today these systems are standard in the semiconductor industry.

  • 1994 – 2005

    1994

    Delivery of the first AIMS™ system: MSM 100 (g-line, i-line, DUV).


    Photographer: Jan-Peter Kasper

    2000

    First fully automated Photomask Inspection System AIMS™ fab (i-line, 248 nm).


    2001

    Carl Zeiss SMT enters into a collaboration with NaWoTec GmbH in Rossdorf, Germany, to bundle their competencies for the joint development of the MeRiT® MG electron-beam mask repair system.


    2002

    First delivery of fully automated AIMS™ fab 193.


    Photographer: Jan-Peter Kasper

    2004

    Market launch of MeRiT® MG mask repair system.


  • 2006 – today

    2006

    First delivery of AIMS™ 45-193i.


    2008

    Carl Zeiss SMT aquires Pixer Technology in Israel for its SMS Division.


    2010

    Market launch of the PROVE® system


    2011

    The four semiconductor manufacturers – Intel, Samsung, Globalfoundries, and TSMC – sign an agreement to support the development of the AIMS™ EUV photomask analysis system.


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