Thought for the month
“It is a general popular error to suppose the loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for its welfare.” Edmund Burke, politician (1729 – 97).
Wednesday, 21 March 2012
One tool to write them all?
Extreme ultraviolet lithography (also known as EUV or EUVL) is a next-generation lithography technology using an extreme ultraviolet (EUV) wavelength, currently expected to be 13.5 nm. Anticipated uptake of EUVL may change, according to Burn Lin, Micropatterning Director at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Ltd. He says that as manufacturers seek to make ever smaller and denser chips, EUV could lose its edge in allowing the industry to follow Moore’s law. The answer may turn out to be switching to electron beam (e-beam) lithography. The move to using 450mm wafers would appear to require the costly development of a variety of patterning tools and resists if a conventional IC fabrication strategy were employed. Since multi-electron beam lithography can be used to write any layer, one 450mm e-beam direct-write tool could pattern them all, and for about 30% lower cost at production volumes. Only one machine would have to be engineered and only a few resists formulated.