12 Jul 2024

Production demands of integrated circuit boards


ALIO Industries (an Allied Motion Company) reports it is at the forefront of innovation in ultra-precise and repeatable motion control systems, and as such is working to address the demands from manufacturers of increasingly complex and smaller and smaller integrated circuits (IC).

The company says as complexity increases and size decreases, IC manufacturers lean more and more heavily on sophisticated metrology tools to validate the quality of finished products. Challenges especially escalate when looking at high volume manufacturing, where metrology tools are indispensable for ensuring quality control, optimising processes, improving yield rates, enabling real-time monitoring, and keeping pace with technological advancements. They provide comprehensive inspection, precise measurements, and feedback on critical parameters, enabling manufacturers to detect defects, optimise processes, and maintain consistent quality throughout large-scale production. By investing in advanced metrology tools driven by best-in-class motion systems, manufacturers can maximise yield, reduce scrap rates, and proactively address deviations, ultimately ensuring the delivery of high-quality ICs in a competitive market driven by ever-advancing technology.

Bill Hennessey, President of ALIO Industries says: “Manufacturers of production and metrology equipment for small and complex ICs have unique and demanding requirements for ultra-precise motion control. They need motion control systems that offer sub-micron accuracy for precise positioning of tiny components, ensuring proper alignment and connection. High-speed operations are also crucial for efficient production throughput. Multi-axis control is necessary to enable synchronised movements in X, Y, Z, and rotation for accurate placement. These motion control systems must have a compact footprint, be flexible to adapt to different layouts, and provide long-term stability and reliability. Integration with automation is vital to streamline processes and maximiae productivity. By meeting these demands, manufacturers can achieve high-quality IC production with improved yields and performance.”

In the fast-paced world of semiconductor manufacturing, metrology tools are part of the secret sauce that ensures perfection, and as such need to be controlled by bleeding edge motion control systems. They measure and inspect critical dimensions, overlay accuracy, and defects in integrated circuits, leaving no room for errors.

Hennessey continues, “With real-time feedback and control, these sophisticated tools empower manufacturers to make precise adjustments on the fly, boosting yields and slashing defects. It’s a game-changer for precision-driven production, where every measurement counts and perfection is the ultimate prize.”

ALIO Industries says it excels in creating motion control solutions for demanding metrology applications for a number of reasons. Firstly, ALIO’s expertise lies in delivering sub-micron accuracy and precise positioning required for measuring critical dimensions and overlay accuracy in ICs. Secondly, the company’s motion control systems offer multi-axis control and compact designs, catering to the intricate movements and space limitations of complex metrology systems.

Additionally, ALIO’s solutions can provide the necessary stability, reliability, and adaptability to optimise processes, improve yields, and seamlessly integrate with automation in high-volume manufacturing environments. The company says its commitment to innovation and its deep understanding of the specific demands of metrology make them a trusted partner in delivering exceptional motion control solutions for these exacting applications, and it has the ability to customize solutions where required.

Hennessey concludes, “One notable example entailed the development of a semiconductor metrology low-profile XY-theta stage featuring a large open aperture. The design challenge involved an open frame stage with a configuration that hindered the implementation of a centred drive mechanism, thereby impeding the attainment of a symmetrical force distribution along the axis.

ALIO successfully addressed this issue by creating a 300mm open center XY Nano Metrology stage. This stage exhibits a remarkable performance, characterized by a 3-Sigma, 6-D assessment encompassing parameters such as linear, straightness, flatness, pitch, yaw, and roll. Furthermore, the stage showcases a bi-directional repeatability within the range of less than +/- 250nm.”

Company info: ALIO Industries