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Infineon moves forward on 157nm research

Posted: 16 Jun 2003 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:infineon technologies? dram chips? clariant? photoresist? lithography?

Germany's Infineon Technologies AG is casting its vote for 157nm lithography technology, saying that it is teaming with materials firm Clariant Corp. to develop photoresists for the exposure technology. Their aim is to speed qualification of the technology for volume production, which is expected to begin within the company at the 55nm node.

The move comes less than two weeks after Intel Corp. said it was backing away from 157nm tools, in favor of a leapfrog to EUV, because it didn't think all the problems with 157nm tools would be solved by its scheduled introduction. The decision caught the industry by surprise, and has angered some equipment makers who have already spent billions in R&D believing that Intel was a supporter of the tools.

Others, however, including Texas Instruments Inc., and Motorola Inc., haven't given up on 157nm tools. Infineon joins that camp. The company wants to use 157nm tools to make DRAM chips on a 55nm process by 2007.

The two companies will conduct the research at Infineon's advanced manufacturing facilities in Dresden, Germany, where the company runs a 300mm wafer fab and will have one of the industry's first 157nm tools. "Our companies are confident we can help make 157nm photoresist available for the timely introduction of the 55nm node," Clariant's Ralph Dammel, director of technology for 193nm and 157nm products, said in a statement.

One of the roadblocks to that schedule is definition of a usable soft pellicle within the photoresists. The hard pellicle, as currently defined, is an 800?m-thick glass structure that tends to introduce random defects to the printed pattern. In manufacturing, adjusting the scanner and mask to the pellicle would seriously impair throughput. Thus far, the industry has yet to find an organic material that could be used with 157nm scanners.

- Mike Clendenin

EE Times

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