Defect Factor

Setup Factor

Utilities Factor

Test Factor

FA Factor

Central Factor

Bit Factor

Pixel Factor

OneFactor-e Modules: Defect Factor

Defect Factor is the first-released product from Zenpire. Defect Factor can read, edit, and write the majority of the file types coming from the finest defect inspectors in the industry, manufactured by KLA-Tencor, ADE, Inspex, TSK, Applied Materials (Orbot), and August Technology .Defect Factor is the lowest cost entry into the commercial, off-line, defect map-viewing products in the semiconductor business, yet offers quite a few unique features, like the ability to export defect maps to GDS-II files for overlay to the chip design.


Defect is the first of the OneFactor-e modules to be released from Zenpire. The purpose of Defect Factor is to parse, view, modify, and store files coming from various defect inspection stations from KLA-Tencor, ADE, Inspex, TSK, Applied Materials (Orbot), and August Technology . Each of these vendor's inspectors are capable of creating defect results files in the TFF (Tencor File Format) or KLARF (KLA Results File) file formats which are also able to be read and written by Defect Factor module. (Refer to supported file formats here )

Defect Factor displays all the pertinent information in the TFF and KLARF files in a neatly organized and windowed display. Defect locations and sizes are displayed with their inspection regions on a colorful wafer map that can be zoomed in and out very easily. Once zoomed in, defect distances can be measured using a handy ruler tool . To zoom in on an inspection region, all the user has to do is double-click within the boundaries of that region and another window pops up showing all the defects within that region. The "region" view can also be magnified and the distances can be measured. Within this die view, the defect map can be saved as a layer in a GDS-II file for import into any chip design software package supporting GDS-II import. All wafer and region displays can be saved to a variety of graphics files (refer to supported file formats here ). To assist in locating defects on a wafer, the current position of the cursor on the wafer is updated on the wafer map as the cursor is moved. Several layers or wafers can be displayed at the same time using different colors.

Unlike other similar tools, the TFF and KLARF data can be edited. Defect positions can be shifted in the X or Y direction or rotated around the center or another point within the wafer. Why do this? Inspectors are not perfect and alignment inconsistency is frequent especially when different machines, layers, and recipes are involved, To get data to overlay, "conditioning" of the defect data is required for some layers. Defects can be added or deleted using the user interface. Defect sizes and scattering intensities can also be scaled. Lot infomation can also be edited, very useful for binary TFF files.

Additionally, Defect Factor can convert KLARFs to TFFs and TFFs to KLARFs. It seems that most sites prefer one format to the other. Some inspectors are isolated from the other equipment because they do not output the approved file type. Defect Factor can remedy this.

Like all OneFactor-e modules, Defect Factor can run on most popular computer platforms (Windows 95,98,NT; Solaris; HP-UX; Linux; Apple). Defect Factor is also bundled with the Utilities Factor, most notably the FTP client and the word processor. Using the FTP client, files can be retrieved anywhere on the site's network and loaded into Defect Factor. The bundled word processor allows the user to view and edit text files such as the KLARF, without calling up another application.


  • Runs on all major platforms
  • Reads AND writes KLARF and TFF defect files
  • Converts TFF to KLARF
  • Creates defect maps with a graphical interface
  • Can modify contents of TFF files
  • Complete package to peruse the site's network to collect defect file and loaded them into the application
  • Provides quick, remote access to newly created inspection files
  • No need for database to view lots worth of data together
  • Easy to use interface (engineers AND operators can use)

Potential Users

  • Fab defect engineers, technicians and operators
  • Fab yield engineers, technicians and operators
  • Fab process engineers, technicians and operators
  • Equipment vendors using inspectors to qualify and monitor equipment
  • Analysis software providers to create datasets to test algorithms

Use Cases

Testing analysis package
To assist in creating analysis packages, defects can be drawn onto the wafer. Say for example, an overlay analysis package is to be tested looking for defects greater than 20 microns in area to be within 4 microns of a defect from a previous layer. Using the defect file as the "previous layer", a new defect layer can be created. The user can magnify the wafer map and click on a position near the previous layer defect and drop in a new defect of a desired size. This new defect layer can be saved as a defect file and loaded into the analysis database for testing of the analysis software.

Modifying data in defect file
How can a binary TFF be modified? Up until now it can't. If a lot number or process step is to be changed it had to be done on the inspector or within the database. This process requires quite a bit of engineering time. Defect Factor allows users to change information simply by typing in new values into a spreadsheet. Defects can be added or deleted, and wafers can be added or deleted from a multiple wafer inspection file. KLARF files are modified similarity.

Observing data directly from an inspector

If defect files are to be displayed immediately after inspection,up until now the options were: (1) take up valuable inspector time and look at the wafer maps on the machine, (2) wait for the data to be loaded into the database and query the database, (3) look at the printout from the inspector. In each case time is wasted: either the engineer's or the inspector's. With Defect Factor, defect files can read on any machine that is networked to the inspector (Windows 95,98,NT; Solaris; HP-UX; Linux; Apple). By mounting the OneFactor-e machine to the inspector (easy to do) files can be loaded off-line and anywhere in the fab immediately after the inspection.. Defect map viewing can benefit from all the added features Defect Factor has over printouts and the inspector's software package, such as magnification, overlay from previous layers and other wafers,and other measurement tools.

Overlay defects to design
Because Defect can output an inspections regions worth of defects to a GDS-II layer and this GDS-II layer can be imported as a layer with any CAD tool, defects can be overlaid to the devices as designed onto the chip. Much like viewing the overlay of poly to metal lines using the CAD tools from Cadence and Tanner, this "defect" layer can be displayed over FOX, Poly, contact,etch layers looking for any sensitivities and commonalties.

Screen Captures

Left-click on any image to see a larger version of the screen capture.
Opening screen of iFAB-Defect
Displaying the contents of a TFF file.
Displaying more contents of a TFF file.
Zooming in on the wafer map of a TFF wafer

Pricing & Availability

This product is available. Contact Zenpire sales for an evaluation and pricing.






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