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Sematech forum to tackle transition to 22nm

Posted: 31 Mar 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:22nm transition? Sematech lithography forum? technology process node?

The Sematech consortium is planning to host a three-day lithography forum May 12-14 because it is concerned about the growing uncertainty on the approach manufacturers and suppliers should take to transition from the 32nm to the 22nm half-pitch technology node.

The sessions are being structured to try and elicit views and build consensus on the most realistic approach to next-generation lithography technology, Sematech said. The session is open to the public, and is due to be held in Lake George, New York in the United States.

Lithography tools and infrastructure can take up to five years to develop and next-generation high-end tools are expected to cost in excess of $40 million per tool said Sematech.

Over 55 percent of companies surveyed in May 2006 at the previous forum preferred current-generation 193nm optical immersion technology until at least 2009. For 2012 and beyond, however, extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography was the primary choice. For now double patterning is extending the life of immersion optical lithography but balanced by concerns over its cost, while technical progress in EUVL will likely result in changes in the roadmap.

"Given the rising costs and increasing pressure on R&D funding, the industry needs another critical and objective assessment of lithography options," said Michael Lercel, director of lithography at Sematech. "Measuring the perception of the readiness of emerging technologies, which we'll ask the Litho Forum participants to weigh in on, is the first step in getting suppliers and partners on board to build tools, materials and processes for the factory floor."

As in prior forums, various candidate lithography technologies will update the industry on their progress toward readiness for manufacturing insertion, and attendees will be polled, both before and during the meeting, for their opinions on the most likely technology choices for future manufacturing.

- Peter Clarke
EE Times Europe

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