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1. WO1999001985 - PROCEDE ET APPAREIL DESTINES A L'INSPECTION DE PLAQUETTES A SEMICONDUCTEURS ET DE DISPOSITIFS AFFICHEURS A CRISTAUX LIQUIDES ET FAISANT APPEL A LA DECOMPOSITION ET A LA SYNTHESE D'IMAGES MULTIDIMENSIONNELLES

Note: Texte fondé sur des processus automatiques de reconnaissance optique de caractères. Seule la version PDF a une valeur juridique

[ EN ]

CLAIMS
1. A semiconductor inspection apparatus (10)
comprising:
a) means for imaging (12) a semiconductor
wafer (15) to obtain an original image
(24) ;
b) a stage (16) to move the semiconductor
wafer (15) under the means for imaging
(12) ;
c) means for image decomposition (22)
connected to receive the original image
(24), having a decomposed image output;
and
d) means for automatic inspection (21) of the semiconductor wafer connected to the
decomposed image output , having a
semiconductor wafer inspection output.

2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the means for image decomposition (22) further comprises a means for decomposing (25) raw image data into a set of partial information channels, each
channel reflecting predetermined aspects of the raw image data (24) .

3. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein the set of partial information channels reflect at least one predetermined aspect .

4. The apparatus of claim 3 wherein the
predetermined aspect is an aspect selected from the group consisting of color, symmetry,
geometry, structure, direction and scale.

5. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the means for image decomposition (22) includes means for
image enhancement (25) .

6. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the means for image decomposition (22) includes means for
morphological filtering (25) .

7. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein the set of
partial information channels include
differentiation for image processing at
different scales.

8. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein the set of
partial information channels include
differentiation for image processing based on direction.

9. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein the set of
partial information channels include
differentiation for image processing based on both scale and direction.

10. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the means for image decomposition (22) preserves a spatial relationship of the image.

11. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the means for image processing (25) further comprises a means for synthesizing the decomposed image to
recover the original image.

12. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the means for image processing (25) further comprises a means for constructing an enhanced image.

13. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the means for imaging (12) the semiconductor wafer (15)
further comprises an automated microscope.

14. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the means for imaging (12) the semiconductor wafer (15)
further comprises a light source (14) and a
sensing device (12) having a image output to image the area of the wafer (15) under
inspection.

15. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the means for image decomposition and processing (22) further comprises a computer (21) .

16. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the means for image decomposition and processing (22) further comprises multiple processors.

17. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the means for image decomposition and processing (22) further comprises a high speed image processing unit
(25) .

18. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the means for image decomposition (22) further comprises a filter (901, 902, 903, 904).

19. The apparatus of claim 18 wherein the filter further comprises a nonlinear morphological filter (Fig. 2) .

20. A method for semiconductor wafer inspection comprising the steps of :
a) obtaining an image of the semiconductor wafer ( 24 ) ;
b) performing an image decomposition (26) to generate a decomposition data set (35) of spatial frequency and orientation bandpass component images that represent at least
one decomposition of the image;
c) performing a multiple channel feature
detection on at least one decomposition
data set (28) ; and
d) detecting defects on the semiconductor
wafer using multiple channel feature
detection (32) .

21. The method of claim 20 wherein the step of
performing an image decomposition (26) to
generate a decomposition data set (35) of
spatial frequency bandpass component images
further comprises the steps of :
a) performing a linear lowpass filtering (43, 51) of the image (36, 38, 40, 42) to
generate a lowpass image;
b) adding the image (37, 39, 41) to a low
pass filtered image to generate a high
pass image; and
c) repeating steps a) , b) , and c) a
predetermined number of times to generate a predetermined number of decomposed
images (Fig. 2) .

22. The method of claim 21 further comprising the steps of :
a) down sampling (55, 59, 63) the low pass
filtered image to generate a coarser
image ;
b) expanding (45, 47, 49) the coarser image to form an interpolated image; and
c) adding (37, 39, 41) the interpolated image to a finer resolution image to generate a bandpass image.

23. The method of claim 22 wherein the step of
expanding (45, 47, 49) the coarser image
further comprises the step of generating a
point replicated image.

24. The method of claim 21 wherein the step of
performing a linear lowpass filtering (43, 51) of the image to generate a lowpass image
further comprises the step of performing an
isotropic lowpass decomposition (70) .

25. The method of claim 21 wherein the step of
performing a linear lowpass filtering of the image further comprises forming lowpass filters at different directions (54, 56, 58, 60, 62,
64, 66, 68) .

26. The method of claim 22 wherein the step of
performing an image synthesis (30) on the
decomposition data set to generate a
synthesized image further comprises the steps of:
a) expanding (130, 132, 138) the coarser
image to form an interpolated image; and b) adding (125, 122, 136) the interpolated
image to a bandpass image (120, 122, 124) to generate a next finer resolution image.

27. The method of claim 21 further comprising the step of performing at least one enhancement step (28) on the lowpass or bandpass images.

28. The method of claim 21 further comprising the step of performing noise coring (182, 184, 186) to selectively remove high frequency components from the decomposed bandpass images (176, 178, 180) .

29. The method of claim 21 further comprising the step of performing edge preserving averaging on a lowpass image.

30. A method of semiconductor inspection where an image (24) is obtained of a semiconductor wafer and the image (24) is decomposed to generate a decomposition data set of spatial frequency and orientation bandpass component images, the
method further comprising the steps of :
a) performing at least one linear lowpass
filtering (43, 51) of the image to
generate a lowpass image having at least
one orientation;
b) performing a down-sampling (55, 59, 63) on the lowpass image to generate a coarser
image ; and
c) repeating steps a) and b) a predetermined number of times to generate a
predetermined number of coarser images
(Fig. 2) .

31. The method of claim 30 further comprising the steps of :
a) expanding (45, 47, 49) at least one
coarser image to form an interpolated
image ; and b) adding (37, 39, 41) the interpolated image to a next finer resolution image to
generate a bandpass image.

32. The method of claim 31 wherein the step of
expanding (45, 47, 49) the coarser image
further comprises the step of generating a
point replicated image.

33. The method of claim 30 wherein the step of
performing a linear lowpass filtering (43, 51) of the image to generate a lowpass image
further comprises the step of performing an
isotropic lowpass decomposition (70) .

34. The method of claim 30 wherein the step of
performing a linear lowpass filtering of the image further comprises forming multiple
lowpass filters having different orientations
(54, 56, 58, 60, 62, 64, 66, 68) .

35. The method of claim 31 further comprising the step of performing an image synthesis (30) on the decomposition data set to generate a
synthesized image.

36. The method of claim 35 wherein the step of
performing an image synthesis (30) on the
decomposition data set to generate a
synthesized image further comprises the steps of:
a) expanding (130, 132, 138) a coarser image to form an interpolated image; and
b) adding (125, 126, 136) the interpolated
image to the bandpass image (120, 122, 124) to generate a next finer resolution
image .

37. A method for organizing image information for processing images of a semiconductor substrate comprising the steps of:
a) obtaining an image of the semiconductor
substrate (24) ;
b) representing the image as a subset of
multiresolution images having
characteristics that facilitate image
processing operations particular to a
process under inspection (26, 28, 30); and c) characterizing a defect (32, 34) .

38. A liquid crystal display inspection apparatus comprising :
a) means for imaging (12) a liquid crystal
display to obtain an original image (24); b) a stage (16) to move the liquid crystal
display under the means for imaging (12); c) means for image decomposition (22)
connected to receive the original image
(24), having a decomposed image output;
and
d) means for automatic inspection (21) of the liquid crystal display connected to the
decomposed image output, having a liquid
crystal display inspection output.

39. The apparatus of claim 38 wherein the means for image decomposition (22) further comprises a means for decomposing (25) raw image data into a set of partial information channels, each
channel reflecting predetermined aspects of the raw image data (24) .

40. The apparatus of claim 39 wherein the set of partial information channels reflect at least one predetermined aspect .

41. The apparatus of claim 40 wherein the
predetermined aspect is an aspect selected from the group consisting of color, symmetry,
geometry, structure, direction and scale.

42. The apparatus of claim 38 wherein the means for image decomposition (22) includes means for
image enhancement (25) .

43. The apparatus of claim 38 wherein the means for image decomposition (22) includes means for
morphological filtering (25) .

44. The apparatus of claim 39 wherein the set of partial information channels include
differentiation for image processing at
different scales.

45. The apparatus of claim 39 wherein the set of partial information channels include
differentiation for image processing based on direction.

46. The apparatus of claim 39 wherein the set of partial information channels include
differentiation for image processing based on both scale and direction.

47. The apparatus of claim 38 wherein the means for image decomposition (22) preserves a spatial relationship of the image.

48. The apparatus of claim 38 wherein the means for image processing (25) further comprises a means for synthesizing the decomposed image to
recover the original image .

49. The apparatus of claim 38 wherein the means for image processing (25) further comprises a means for constructing an enhanced image.

50. The apparatus of claim 38 wherein the means for imaging (12) the liquid crystal display further comprises an automated microscope.

51. The apparatus of claim 38 wherein the means for imaging (12) the liquid crystal display further comprises a light source (14) and a sensing
device (12) having a image output to image the area of the liquid crystal display under
inspection.

52. The apparatus of claim 38 wherein the means for image decomposition and processing (22) further comprises a computer (21) .

53. The apparatus of claim 38 wherein the means for image decomposition and processing (22) further comprises multiple processors.

54. The apparatus of claim 38 wherein the means for image decomposition and processing (22) further comprises a high speed image processing unit
(25) .

55. The apparatus of claim 38 wherein the means for image decomposition (22) further comprises a filter (901, 902, 903, 904).

56. The apparatus of claim 55 wherein the filter further comprises a nonlinear morphological
filter (Fig. 2) .

57. A method for liquid crystal display inspection comprising the steps of:
a) obtaining an image of the liquid crystal
display (24) ;
b) performing an image decomposition (26) to generate a decomposition data set (35) of spatial frequency and orientation bandpass component images that represent at least
one decomposition of the image;
c) performing a multiple channel feature
detection on at least one decomposition
data set (28) ; and
d) detecting defects on the liquid crystal
display using multiple channel feature
detection (32) .

58. The method of claim 57 wherein the step of
performing an image decomposition to generate a decomposition data set of spatial frequency
bandpass component images further comprises the steps of :
a) performing a linear lowpass filtering (43,

51) of the image (36, 38, 40, 42) to
generate a lowpass image;
b) adding the image (37, 39, 41) to a low
pass filtered image to generate a high
pass image; and c) repeating steps a) , b) , and c) a
predetermined number of times to generate a predetermined number of decomposed
images (Fig. 2) .

59. The method of claim 58 further comprising the steps of :
a) down sampling (55, 59, 63) the low pass
filtered image to generate a coarser
image ;
b) expanding (45, 47, 49) the coarser image
to form an interpolated image; and
c) adding (37, 39, 41) the interpolated image to a finer resolution image to generate a bandpass image.

60. The method of claim 59 wherein the step of
expanding (45, 47, 49) the coarser image
further comprises the step of generating a
point replicated image.

61. The method of claim 58 wherein the step of
performing a linear lowpass filtering (43, 51) of the image to generate a lowpass image
further comprises the step of performing an
isotropic lowpass decomposition (70) .

62. The method of claim 58 wherein the step of
performing a linear lowpass filtering of the image further comprises forming lowpass filters at different directions (54, 56, 58, 60, 62,
64, 66, 68) .

63. The method of claim 59 wherein the step of
performing an image synthesis (30) on the decomposition data set to generate a
synthesized image further comprises the steps of:
a) expanding (130, 132, 138) the coarser
image to form an interpolated image; and b) adding (125, 126, 136) the interpolated
image to a bandpass image (120, 122, 124) to generate a next finer resolution image.

64. The method of claim 58 further comprising the step of performing at least one enhancement
step (28) on the lowpass or bandpass images.

65. The method of claim 58 further comprising the step of performing noise coring (182, 184, 186) to selectively remove high frequency components from the decomposed bandpass images (176, 178, 180) .

66. The method of claim 58 further comprising the step of performing edge preserving averaging on a lowpass image.

67. A method of liquid crystal display inspection where an image (24) is obtained of a liquid
crystal display and the image (24) is
decomposed to generate a decomposition data set of spatial frequency and orientation bandpass component images, the method further comprising the steps of:
a) performing at least one linear lowpass
filtering (43, 51) of the image to
generate a lowpass image having at least
one orientation;
b) performing a down- sampling (55, 59, 63) on the lowpass image to generate a coarser
image ; and
c) repeating steps a) and b) a predetermined number of times to generate a
predetermined number of coarser images
(Fig. 2) .

68. The method of claim 67 further comprising the steps of :
a) expanding (45, 47, 49) at least one
coarser image to form an interpolated
image ; and
b) adding (37, 39, 41) the interpolated image to a next finer resolution image to
generate a bandpass image.

69. The method of claim 68 wherein the step of
expanding (45, 47, 49) the coarser image
further comprises the step of generating a
point replicated image.

70. The method of claim 67 wherein the step of
performing a linear lowpass filtering (43, 51) of the image to generate a lowpass image
further comprises the step of performing an isotropic lowpass decomposition (70) .

71. The method of claim 67 wherein the step of
performing a linear lowpass filtering of the image further comprises forming multiple
lowpass filters having different orientations
(54, 56, 58, 60, 62, 64, 66, 68) .

72. The method of claim 68 further comprising the step of performing an image synthesis (30) on the decomposition data set to generate a
synthesized image.

73. The method of claim 72 wherein the step of
performing an image synthesis (30) on the
decomposition data set to generate a
synthesized image further comprises the steps of:
a) expanding (130, 132, 138) a coarser image to form an interpolated image; and
b) adding (125, 126, 136) the interpolated
image to the bandpass image (120, 122,
124) to generate a next finer resolution
image .

74. A method for organizing image information for processing images of a liquid crystal display comprising the steps of:
a) obtaining an image of the liquid crystal
display (24) ;
b) representing the image as a subset of
multiresolution images having
characteristics that facilitate image
processing operations particular to a
process under inspection (26, 28, 30); and c) characterizing a defect (32, 34) .