11/1/2004 - IMEC and ASML have agreed on the installation of a full-field EUV pre-production tool, to be installed in IMEC's 300mm research facility in late 2005. An IMEC Industrial Affiliation Program on EUV lithography will begin in early 2006 and will focus on the 32nm node and beyond.
To ensure that EUV technology is ready when the transition from 193nm immersion lithography takes place, IMEC will initiate an industrial affiliation program to gain early insight into EUV lithography issues.
The program will include investigation into the following areas:
The program details will be defined in collaboration with IMEC's core partners such as Infineon Technologies, Intel, Matsushita, Philips, Samsung and Texas Instruments, in the next six months.
There is a growing consensus that 193nm immersion lithography will be introduced for 65nm half-pitch in 2007, and the outlook is positive for its extension to 45nm half-pitch. However, it will be very hard to get to the 32nm half-pitch since this will require a very high-NA lens and a high-index fluid, which are very uncertain at this moment. EUV lithography is a potential candidate for semiconductor volume product imaging at and below 32nm due to the advantages EUV offers.
"This agreement enables us to provide our partners with one of the world's first full-field EUV lithography tools," said Luc Van den hove, Vice President Silicon Process and Device Technology. "With ASML's cooperation, IMEC's core partners and other participating companies will have the opportunity to develop the necessary critical knowledge and early process expertise well before 193nm immersion runs out of steam."
"At the beginning of the year, IMEC and ASML announced intentions to form an EUV program. Planning is complete and we now have a start date and program agenda to offer our customers and affiliated companies," said Martin van den Brink, executive vice president, marketing & technology, ASML. "EUV offers the best solution for volume manufacturing to reach below the 32 nm node. Keeping our time, energy and resources focused on EUV will ensure a smooth, technological transition in the future."
IMEC invites semiconductor manufacturers, material suppliers, mask shops and peripheral lithography equipment suppliers to participate in the EUV lithography program. IMEC Industrial Affiliation programs offer partners the advantages of both reduced costs and early process knowledge.
About IMEC Industrial Affiliation Programs
The IMEC Industrial Affiliation Program (IIAP) is IMEC's premier R&D collaboration formula for joint R&D between industrial researchers and IMEC research teams. IIAPs focus on a specific topic or technology area. The concept is recognized worldwide as one of the most successful international partnership models for joint development of next-generation technologies.
IMEC is a world leading independent research center in nanoelectronics and nanotechnology. Its research focuses on the next generations of chips and systems, and on the enabling technologies for ambient intelligence. IMEC's research bridges the gap between fundamental research at universities and technology development in industry. Its unique balance of processing and system know-how, intellectual property portfolio, state-of-the-art infrastructure and a strong network of companies, universities and research institutes worldwide, positions IMEC as a key partner with which to develop and improve technologies for future systems.
IMEC is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium and has representatives in the US, China and Japan. Its staff of more than 1300 people includes over 380 industrial residents and guest researchers. In 2003, its revenues were EUR 145 million. Further information on IMEC can be found at www.imec.be.
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