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Freescale RET project approaches first anniversary

Posted: 19 Aug 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:photronics? reticle fabrication? 65nm?

Freescale Semiconductor Inc. and imaging technology company Photronics Inc. teamed up in the fourth quarter of 2004 to assess the technical and commercial merit of certain specific resolution enhancement technologies (RET), Freescale said Tuesday (Aug 16).

The collaboration is a three-year commitment intended to extend the life of current-generation lithography under which Freescale (Austin, Texas) supplies representative patterns and unique analytical support, wafer imaging and data analysis, and Photronics (Brookfield, Connecticut) supplies test reticles and reticle fabrication details. In their collaboration Photronics and Freescale have departed from standard industry practice and tested multiple RET processes: six percent embedded attenuated phase shift masks (EAPSM), complementary phase shift masks (CPSM) and chromeless phase lithography (CPL), Freescale said.

The companies' researchers found little statistical differences between the methods with respect to critical dimension control achieved at the 65nm node. However, the researchers did find significant differences in other important metrics associated with specific RET implementation such as line-edge roughness and 2D image acuity. The companies have joined efforts to explore how these differences and other process improvements can be used to extend RET applications.

Freescale and Photronics have co-authored a number of technical papers two of which won best paper awards at Photomask Japan and BACUS.

"The advanced development by Freescale and Photronics will be a significant influence on mass production of 65nm CMOS devices and below," said Joe Mogab, senior technical fellow and director of the Advanced Products Research and Development Laboratory for Freescale. "Our joint advanced lithography work with Photronics will help provide us with the necessary RET improvements to provide the best and most cost-effective solutions for our customers' businesses," he added.

- Peter Clarke

EE Times

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