06315512 is referenced by 139 patents and cites 21 patents.

A workpiece handling system with dual load locks, a transport chamber and a process chamber. Workpieces may be retrieved from one load lock for processing at vacuum pressure, while workpieces are unloaded from the other load lock at the pressure of the surrounding envirornment. The transport chamber has a transport robot with two arms. Processed workpieces and new workpieces may be exchanged by a simple under/over motion of the two robot arms. The transport robot rotates about a central shaft to align with the load locks or the process chamber. The robot may also be raised or lowered to align the arms with the desired location to which workpieces are deposited or from which workpieces are retrieved. The two load locks may be positioned one above the other such that a simple vertical motion of the robot can be used to select between the two load locks. The two load locks and transport robot allow almost continuous processing. Additional process chambers may be added to the transport chamber to further increase throughput. Each stage of the workpiece handling system may also be designed to handle multiple workpieces, such as two side by side workpieces. Throughput is increased while allowing shared machinery to be used. Linear and rotational doors may be used for the load locks to provide a simple, compact design.

Title
Systems and methods for robotic transfer of workpieces between a storage area and a processing chamber
Application Number
9/200660
Publication Number
6315512 (B1)
Application Date
November 25, 1998
Publication Date
November 13, 2001
Inventor
Michael J Kuhlman
Fremont
CA, US
Leszek Niewmierzycki
San Jose
CA, US
David A Setton
Alameda
CA, US
David A Barker
Walnut Creek
CA, US
Barry Kitazumi
Milpitas
CA, US
Farzad Tabrizi
Danville
CA, US
Agent
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
US
Assignee
Mattson Technology
CA, US
IPC
B65G 49/07
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