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Applications group

Meet Takashi Ishiwata

Read the testimonial of Takashi Ishiwata, Applications Engineer for ASML Japan.

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ASML produces the world's most cutting-edge lithography systems for semiconductor manufacturing. But in today's fast-moving and highly demanding semiconductor industry, sometimes even that isn't enough. That's where our Applications Group comes in. Working intimately with our customers, the Applications Group finds new ways to get more from the customer's manufacturing process and squeeze out every last nanometer and good die. 

Optimizing the process as a whole - rather than each step individually - is essential to meet today's stringent on-chip performance and yield demands. With its huge flexibility, the scanner is central to this optimization. But with thousands of possible parameters to adjust, finding the best combination to meet the customer's goals is a huge challenge.

All-round knowledge

Firstly, you have to know the scanner from top to bottom, liaising with system developers to ensure you are always up to date. Secondly, you need a complete understanding of the customer's goals, fab set up and manufacturing process. That means regular visits to the customer, talking to their managers and engineers about highly technical issues, identifying their pain points and finding out what they need.

Metrology - the ability to measure exactly what you are printing - is also vital. And the Applications Group has developed the YieldStar 3-in1 metrology tool . YieldStar is fast enough and accurate enough that measurements from the first wafer in a lot can be used to improve performance for later wafers. The Applications Group develops software solutions that automate that feedback and control loop. But YieldStar delivers 2.5 GB of data a minute! How do you make best use of all that information?

Face-to-face with the customer

Working in the Application Group can be highly dynamic and unpredictable. If customers see a problem in their production, they could already be losing money. So they want you to find solutions fast. You need to agree a performance specification upfront, then find smart ways to deliver it - and have them working within months. To do that, you will be working in their production line - doing engineering in full view of the customer.

Page updated on 2015-2-6 14:20 CET

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