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Intel extends immersion litho to 11nm, delays EUV

Posted: 24 Feb 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:immersion lithography? extreme ultraviolet? EUV?

Intel Corp. provided a glimpse of its lithography roadmap and disclosed a surprise at the LithoVision 2010: 193nm immersion is expected to extend to the 11nm logic node and extreme ultraviolet (EUV) is late!again.

At the event, Intel also disclosed its lithography roadmap. At present, Intel is using 193nm "dry" scanners for the 45nm logic node. The company is now using its first 193nm immersion tools in the fab, which will enable chips at the 32nm logic node. Intel is exclusively using Nikon Corp.'s 193nm immersion scanners for 32nm, which appeared in 2009.

At one time, Intel hoped to use EUV at 22nm, which is due out in 2011. The problem is that EUV will not be ready in time for 22- or 15nm in production!at least at Intel, said Intel senior fellow Yan Borodovsky, director of advanced lithography in the company's technology and manufacturing group.

Intel, which last year disclosed its first details about 22nm, will extend 193nm immersion for that node, he said.

The company also reiterated that it could extend 193nm immersion technology to the 15nm logic node, which is due out in 2013. "193nm immersion with pitch division is the only option" for high-volume manufacturing at 15nm, he said.

At 15nm, "we will be in pilot line production with EUV. If maskless is available, we will be in pilot production (with that technology)," he said. Then, at 11nm, Intel is also looking at 193nm immersion, with a quint!or five mask!patterning. "ArF can do it with five masks," he said.

At 11nm, it reiterated its concept of a "complementary" or mix-and-match strategy, in which 193nm immersion could work hand-in-hand with EUV or maskless lithography to enable advanced chip designs.

It's unclear which technology!EUV or maskless!will get the nod at Intel. To get inserted within Intel, EUV must prove that it works by 2011 or 2012. Maskless must prove viable and that it works by 2012.

Logic devices require more relaxed IC design rules, compared to NAND flash. For that reason, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. wants EUV lithography by 2012 despite signs that the technology will not be ready by that time.

A principal engineer within the process development team at Samsung (Seoul) said that EUV and the associated infrastructure must be ready by 2012!at least for Samsung. In fact, seeking to get a jump on its rivals, Samsung itself wants to go into production!albeit limited production!by 2012 using EUV, provided that the technology has overcome the challenges and is ready to roll.

- Mark LaPedus
EE Times

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