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Nikon denies EUV litho program delay

Posted: 21 May 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:extreme ultraviolet? EUV? lithography? Nikon EUV delay?

Responding to an analyst, Nikon Corp. stated that its extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography program is still alive and well.

There is also no delay with its EUV program, according to officials from Nikon. As reported, lithography specialist Nikon was understood to have put on hold development of some of its EUV tools, which could give ASML Holding NV a huge early advantage in commercial deployments of the emerging chip making technology, according to Richard Windsor, industry specialist at securities house Nomura.

Nikon dismissed the report. "We are not putting our EUV program on hold," according to Nikon officials. "We are still moving full speed ahead."

As previously reported, Nikon has two EUV alpha tools, dubbed EUV1, in the field. One alpha tool is installed at chip-consortium Selete. The other tool at its facility in Japan and being used by Intel Corp.

Nikon is working on a second EUV tool, which is a pre-production unit. Dubbed EUV2, Nikon does not plan to ship the unit to customers. Instead, Nikon will keep that unit in-house, as a means to enable a "faster learning" process for customers, the company said.

In contrast, ASML plans to ship its "pre-production" EUV tool to customer sites.

Then, Nikon is developing a production-worthy EUV tool, dubbed EUV3. Contrary to Nomura, EUV3 is on track and is slated to ship in 2012, according to the company.

"So we will not ship a EUV2 tool; we will work with customers on tools at Nikon," Nikon said. "Nikon is still planning to have a EUV3 tool by 2012 for high volume manufacturing."

- Mark LaPedus
EE Times

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