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EUV making slow progress, reports Intel

Posted: 20 Nov 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Intel? EUV? extreme ultraviolet? lithography? Mark LaPedus?

An Intel Corp. technologist disclosed that extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography is making little progress, prompting the firm to look at the deployment of immersion technology at its 32nm node.

''There's not a whole lot of different with [EUV technology] from a year ago,'' said Mike Mayberry, director of components research and vice president of the technology manufacturing group at Intel, one of the main proponents of EUV.

Mayberry said there are still three main hurdles with EUV: a suitable source, defect-free masks, and resists. The industry is working hard to solve these issues, but the challenges remain, he said. EUV is a next-generation lithography (NGL) technology for the 32nm node and beyond.

Intel has already altered its lithography roadmap. Unable to obtain the tools and materials in time, the company in February said it has pushed out its efforts to bring EUV lithography into ''high-volume production'' for the 32nm node by 2009. Instead, the company said that it plans to extend 193nm lithography for mass production at 32nm.

''When we go to 32nm, we will have some immersion lithography,'' Mayberry said in an interview at the AVS Symposium & Exhibition.

EUV has made some big strides in recent times, however. In August, ASML Holding NV shipped the world's first EUV lithography tool to the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering of the University at Albany, New York. The EUV tool is geared for R&Dnot production. According to the University of Albany, ASML's so-called Alpha Demo Tool is a "$65 million tool that represents a critical step in the development and commercialization of EUV technology."

The initial results from the ''demo'' tools will not be known for some time. ''The tools are not operational,'' said Bill Arnold, chief scientist for ASML. ''They are being assembled and brought up.''

Meanwhile, European R&D group IMEC also claimed to have obtained the first EUV tool from ASML.

- Mark LaPedus
EE Times

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