Microtronic Announces Methodology for Reducing or Eliminating Manual Microscope Inspection during the Post Pandemic Labor Shortage

Hawthorne, NY – September 08, 2021 – Microtronic, maker of high-speed full-wafer macro defect inspection systems and software, has just announced an innovative new way to reduce or eliminate the need for manual microscope inspection.  Deployment of the EAGLEview can reduce the need for cleanroom operators while improving wafer inspection in the photolithography module.   The high-speed EAGLEview can inspect all the wafers for macro defects automatically, with minimal engineering support and no need to create or maintain recipes.

“As the world recovers from the COVID-19 global Pandemic, labor shortages are affecting all industries including the Semiconductor Industry,” said Microtronic Applications Director Errol Akomer. “Fabs are reaching out to us for help in automating their inspection process and reducing their reliance on operators.  Our customers understand that we have experience working with many worldwide leading semiconductor companies in drastically reducing or eliminating the need for manual microscope inspections in the Photo area.”

Microtronic recommends that two rules be applied to maximize fab performance while reducing the amount of human inspection:

  1. Each lot must receive both a micro and a macro wafer inspection. The micro inspection sample can be as small as one wafer, while macro inspection is done on all the wafers.
  2. The micro inspection can be done by microscope, overlay or CD metrology tools – to ensure that at least one wafer in the lot was patterned correctly (reticle check, CD size, registration).

Akomer noted that most fabs have good control of their lot-to-lot variation and are at a higher risk for wafer-to-wafer variation resulting in outliers or excursions.  The microscope or metrology tool can screen for micro issues while the EAGLEview can inspect all the wafers for macro defects automatically, with no need to create or maintain recipes.

In addition to reducing staff at the microscopes, excursion control and quality improves by inspecting ALL the wafers and not sampling.  Other qualitative factors such as operator fatigue, documenting inspection results, quality and consistency of operator inspections are improved.  Akomer also noted, “in addition to quality improvements, we have documented productivity gains as operators are re-allocated from the inspection chairs to the steppers”.

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About Microtronic

Founded in 1994 and headquartered in Hawthorne, NY, Microtronic designs, builds and delivers advanced systems and software for automated macro wafer defect inspection and data management for semiconductor processing. The company’s flagship macro defect inspection system, the EAGLEview 5, is known for its unprecedented speed, which enables it to automatically inspect 100% of every wafer in the lot without recipes. It produces high-resolution full-wafer color images with macro defects identified and categorized, and it stores all the information in the powerful ProcessGuard defect database and management system.  ProcessGuard clients are available throughout the organization with unlimited licenses.


For more information, contact:

Errol Akomer
Applications Director, Microtronic, Inc.
171 Brady Avenue
Hawthorne, NY 10532
tel: +1 (469) 450-5686
email: [email protected]

EAGLEview™ is a trademark of Microtronic, Inc.