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Firms collaborate on EUV source development

Posted: 06 Nov 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:EUV lithography? partnership firms? source development?

Japan's Ushio Inc. has announced that it has signed a letter of intent to form a partnership with Koninklijke Philips Electronics NV and Jenoptik Laser Optik Systeme GmbH to co-develop extreme ultraviolet (EUV) light sources for lithography. Objectives of the partnership are to speed up the development of EUV lithography and make it practical as the post-ArF laser immersion technology, said Ushio.

The agreement is significant because these companies control two of the leading companies in EUV source development: Xtreme Technologies GmbH and Philips Extreme UV GmbH, both based in Germany. Only experimental tools have been shipped so far and concerns have been expressed about the need to get exposure energy levels up to allow sufficient wafer throughput.

Ushio bought out Germany's Lambda Physik AG from its 50 percent share in Xtreme Technologies, a developer of optical sources for EUV lithography in August 2005.

Xtreme, in which Ushio and Jenoptik each hold a 50 percent share, and Philips Extreme UV, a 100-percent subsidiary of Philips, have both developed and shipped EUV sources based on the gas discharge technology principle. Xtreme and Philips Extreme delivered alpha tools to leading customers in 2006 and 2007. These tools are mounted on full-field scanners, which can expose 300mm wafers.

The partnership between Xtreme and Philips Extreme EUV, the only companies to have shipped EUV sources for exposure tools, will accelerate the development of beta tools and ultimately secure the development and sales of commercial EUV sources, said Ushio.

- Peter Clarke
EE Times Europe

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