Therma-Wave, Inc., which offers the development, manufacture and sale of process control metrology systems used in the manufacture of semiconductors, today announced that it has officially entered China's 300 mm semiconductor market.

A foundry in the region selected the Therma-Probe XP 300 mm ion implant monitoring tool for its new, most advanced 300 mm facility. Additionally, the customer placed multiple product repeat orders for Opti-Probe film measurement systems for its 200 mm facility in Shanghai. The thin-film order reflects capacity expansion developments at its existing 200 mm fab. Therma-Wave already has substantial 200 mm market share in China, with 300 mm fast becoming a new opportunity. According to the customer, the Opti-Probe and Therma-Probe products were selected based on superior technical performance, low cost of ownership and field support.

With new fabs spreading across China in major cities such as Shanghai, Beijing, Tianjin, Suzhou, Chengdu and Shenzhen, analysts are reporting the Chinese chip market is expected to triple from $29 billion in 2005 to about $80 billion by 2007. According to data collected by the Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International and Semiconductor Equipment Association of Japan (SEAJ) trade groups, the market for new semiconductor equipment in China reached $1.16 billion in 2003.

The Therma-Probe is the industry standard for implant metrology. It is capable of measuring surface damage induced by ion implantation processes in a non-contact and non-destructive manner, directly on product wafers and immediately after ion implantation processes. Currently, there are more than 400 Therma-Probe systems installed worldwide, inclusive of the world's top 40 IC manufacturers. The XP Series, designed to reproducibly provide precise results in measuring 90-nm technology node and beyond, is the most advanced in the family of Therma-Probe tools.

Therma-Wave's Opti-Probe family of products meets the rising demand for these increasingly complex solutions with proprietary features including Therma-Wave's Absolute Ellipsometry (AE) and Desorber technologies. AE is engineered into the Opti-Probe family of products and provides for the direct measurement of film parameters without the use of a reference and is considered a market leading precision tool for accurate and repeatable measurements of the very thinnest gate oxide films. These measurements are critical for process control of the transistor gate on advanced complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) logic devices.


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