May 26, 2006 – Attendees at the SEMATECH-sponsored Litho Forum in Vancouver, BC, May 22-24 discussed the readiness of lithography technologies for the 32nm half-pitch and beyond technology generations, seen beginning in 2012, following the 45nm node generation expected to begin production in 2009.
Attendees indicated a desire to use 193nm single-exposure immersion lithography for the 45nm node, with backup options including double-exposure 193nm immersion and dry litho. For the 32nm node in 2012, extreme-ultraviolet lithography (EUVL) got the nod along with 193nm double exposure, and EUV was the overwhelming choice for the 22nm node starting in 2015.
“The rise of interest in 193nm double exposure was notable, but double exposure never became the preferred option at any node in the survey, likely because of cost issues,” stated Michael Lercel, SEMATECH lithography director and conference chair. Survey feedback also showed “concern with extendibility of various 193 nm options beyond 32nm half-pitch,” added Bernie Roman, Litho Forum program chairman.
Surveys of attendees also showed that chipmakers and equipment suppliers expect to keep pace with the guidelines in the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS), which puts 45nm half-pitch manufacturing starting in 2009, and 32nm half-pitch production starting in 2012.
This year’s Litho Forum involved more than 200 lithographers and executives from North America, Europe, and Asia, to review the status of 193nm lithography, EUVL, and alternative technologies, such as maskless lithography and nano-imprinting, and discuss the current state of various technologies and activities supporting six different lithography options, including resists, masks, advanced fluids, lens materials, and overall tool readiness. SEMATECH, which organized the first Litho Forum in 2004, indicated that many of this year’s participants expressed interest in attending a third Litho Forum in 2007 or 2008.