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Intel orders scanner to develop commercial EUV lithography

Posted: 24 Apr 2002 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Intel? lithography scanner? ASM Lithography? nanometer? IC?

Intel Corp. has ordered a beta-stage extreme ultraviolet lithography scanner from ASM Lithography to help it prepare for production of 45nm linewidth ICs using commercial EUV tools later this decade.

Intel expects to receive delivery of the EUV scanner in the second half of 2005 at its 300mm logic technology development center in Hillsboro, Oregon and to apply it to the development of 45nm process technology targeted for commercial production in 2007, said Peter Silverman, director of lithography capital equipment at Intel.

"This decision indicates that we are moving the EUV technology into the commercial stage," said Silverman, an Intel fellow responsible for coordinating Intel's lithography road map. Intel expects to receive production-worthy tools for critical layers of 45nm logic devices by the end of 2006, he said.

Silverman declined to give the price of the EUV development tool, but said, "This is real money we are spending with ASML."

Martin Van den Brink, an ASML executive vice president, said, "The sale of the first EUV beta tool . . . represents the culmination of many years of work on the selection, development, and engineering of next-generation lithography technologies."

The EUV LLC, a consortium of chip makers and U.S. government laboratories, brought up an EUV engineering test stand a year ago and continues to work on several key EUV technologies. A second set of optics with higher reflectivity is being transferred to the consortium from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The reflective optics in the engineering test stand included four coated mirrors, but EUV production systems will require six mirrors.

The power of the laser source in the consortium's system is also being boosted. Silverman said the current laser source puts out about 5 watts of power and has been demonstrated to put out 9 W. But to reach the 80-wafers/hour throughput targeted for EUV systems, the source power must be increased to the 50W to 100W range, he said.

When EUV scanners move into production in 2007, "we are targeting 80 wafers per hour in production," Silverman said. "But for development purposes a quarter of that is adequate."

EUV systems are expected to use radiation in the soft X-ray portion of the spectrum, at 13.5-nm wavelength. That's an aggressive jump from the 157nm wavelength light used in deep-ultraviolet scanners now in development. Today's scanners use refractory optics, much like a large camera, to focus light on a transparent reticle containing circuit patterns.

EUV systems will use mirrors with many layers of molybdenum-silicon coating to precisely reflect the 13.5nm light. The source laser will strike a xeon gas jet to produce EUV radiation, which is collected and reflected off of a reticle, or mask, which itself is a coated mirror on which a chip pattern is deposited.

EUV systems will be used in the first four layers of production?the so-called critical layers?at the 45nm node: isolation; gate formation; contact formation; and the first level of metal interconnect. Beyond those layers, the 45-nm process will use 157nm lithography tools now in development.

? David Lammers

EE Times

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