Direct-to-digital holography

As the semiconductor industry continues toreduce the size of its components to maintaineconomic benefits and increased processingspeed, the need to improve production yieldrises. To improve yields by reducing deficits,inspection during the production process isessential. This means that inspectiontechnology must be able to detect smallerdefects more quickly to maintain high yield.Direct-to Digital Holography (DDH), inventedby an ORNL team, is an innovative 3-Dinspection technology that detects submicron-scale defects on complex or simple surfaces.This patented technology can detect submicrondefects within surface features having aspectratios greater than 10 to 1, a critical need forthe next generation of defect-detection devices.The team moved the DDH forward by enteringinto two CRADAs, as well as an exclusivelicensing agreement with nLine Corporation,based in Austin, Tx. Through the partnership,the first DDH prototype was developed, builtand implemented in less than 11 months.Ultimately, the benefit of the DDH will be toU.S. manufacturers of semiconductor productsfor state-of-the-art computing andtelecommunications devices. Because thesemiconductor industry is worth over $150billion annually to the U.S. economy, atechnology such as DDH can save the industrymillions of dollars annually in lost products,energy consumption and waste mitigation.
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