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KEITHLEY INTRODUCES NEW SEMICONDUCTOR RELIABILITY TEST SYSTEM FOR 65NM AND BEYOND

Cleveland, Ohio - 11, 2005 - Keithley Instruments, Inc. (NYSE:KEI), a leader in solutions for emerging measurement needs, announces the S510 Semiconductor Reliability Test System, a high channel count, turnkey solution for use in reliability testing and lifetime modeling of the world’s most advanced ULSI CMOS processes at the 65nm node and beyond. It provides a high degree of wafer-level reliability (WLR) test throughput and flexibility, reducing the time to assess reliability and to perform lifetime modeling, thereby ultimately decreasing time-to-market for projects in technology development and process qualification. The S510 System can also be used for production WLR monitoring or as a lab parametric test system.

A fully automated, multi-channel parallel reliability test system, Keithley’s S510 System features scalable channel counts from 20 to 72 channels, an independent stress/measure channel for each structure, and simultaneous measurement across all channels. The S510 System can test multiple devices simultaneously on a wafer in conjunction with a semi-automatic or fully automatic probe station.

Meeting New Test Challenges. As semiconductor device geometries shrink below 90nm, new materials, structures, and processes are changing device lifetime behavior. In particular, negative bias temperature instability (NBTI) and time dependent dielectric breakdown (TDDB) models have become a very critical part of the technology development cycle. New models for NBTI and TDDB must be quickly developed early in the technology development cycle. To meet faster development cycle times, NBTI and TDDB measurement is moving to on-wafer testing and away from the conventional package level testing that requires time consuming chip packaging processes. The S510 Semiconductor Reliability Test System accelerates the development of new lifetime models by automating high channel count parallel on-wafer reliability testing to quickly provide statistically large data samples.

Keithley’s S510 System does what no competitive solution can do. The S510 System meets the measurement challenges of high channel count parallel NBTI and TDDB testing with SMU-per-device architecture, while providing production grade automation capabilities to maximize system throughput. Dedicating an SMU to each device pin enables seamless transition between stress and measurement cycles and highly controlled device relaxation during NBTI testing. This arrangement also allows the device to be closely monitored during stress cycling, offering much greater visibility into device degradation in both TDDB and NBTI. To fully meet the need for large volumes of test data in the technology development lab, the S510 System can be paired with a fully automated production prober.

S510 System capabilities are built on Keithley’s proven KTE automation test executive software. The interactive component, KTEI, lets users do real-time graphing and interactive test modules, in addition to lab-grade automation for use with analytical probers or semiautomatic probers. Keithley’s S510 System software includes a parallel test module that performs tests for NBTI, TDDB, and CHC and is optimized to address the significant challenges of controlling up to 72 pins in parallel.

Faster Source-Measure Sequences and Switching. The S510 Semiconductor Reliability Test System also increases the quality of test data by providing a unique SMU-per-DUT architecture that is capable of high-precision measurements, TDDB soft breakdown monitoring, and minimum NBTI stress relaxation time, a common problem with many NBTI test setups. Conventional WLR test systems have a limited number of source-measure units or rely heavily on switching, which leads to lower throughput or inadequate test results. The S510 System uses a large number of parallel stress/measure channels to enable the best possible NBTI and TDDB testing.

Flexibility and Scalability. In addition to WLR testing, Keithley’s S510 System can be easily repurposed to perform device characterization, saving the time and expense needed to buy and configure a separate system. The S510 Semiconductor Reliability Test System bridges the space between fully automated parametric test systems for production, such as Keithley’s S680 DC/RF Parametric Test System, and semi-automated interactive bench top device characterization systems, such as Keithley’s Model 4200-SCS Semiconductor Characterization System. Customers gain the benefit of a powerful migration path and investment protection as they move toward and beyond the 90nm node.

Availability. Keithley’s S510 Semiconductor Reliability Test System will be available beginning June, 2005.


For More Information. For more information on Keithley's S510 Semiconductor Reliability Test System or any of its semiconductor test solutions and to view a short online product presentation, visit www.keithley.com/pr/013.html. Or contact the company at:

Telephone: 800-688-9951
440-248-0400
FAX: 440-248-6168
E-mail: product_info@keithley.comInternet: www.keithley.comAddress: Keithley Instruments, Inc.
28775 Aurora Road
Cleveland, OH 44139-1891

About Keithley. With more than 50 years of measurement expertise, Keithley Instruments (www.keithley.com) has become a world leader in advanced electrical test instruments and systems from DC to RF (radio frequency) geared to the specialized needs of electronics manufacturers for high performance production testing, process monitoring, product development, and research. By building upon our strength in electrical measurement solutions for research, Keithley has become a production test technology leader for the semiconductor, wireless, optoelectronics, and other precision electronics segments of the worldwide electronics industry. The value we provide to our customers is a combination of precision measurement technology and a rich understanding of their applications to improve the quality, throughput, and yield of their products.

Products and company names listed are trademarks or trade names of their respective companies




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