Maskless litho program launched in EU

Apr. 25, 2008 – The European Commission’s 7th Framework Program (FP7) is funding a new program on maskless lithography for IC manufacturing — MAGIC — to explore and promote maskless lithography technologies developed by a pair of European companies, including developing infrastructure on data preparation, proximity effect corrections, and processes.

At the heart of the three-year project is maskless litho technology from Dutch firm Mapper Lithography, and projection maskless lithography technology from Austria’s IMS Nanofabrication. The goal is to deliver alpha tools for 32nm half-pitch technology by the end of 2010.

Heading up the MAGIC consortium is CEA-LETI (the Electronics and Information Technology Laboratory of the French Atomic Energy Commission), with Mapper and IMS, plus nine other participating companies: ims-chips Stuttgart, Delong Instruments, Fraunhofer Institutes, Synopsys, STMicroelectronics, Qimonda, Fachhochshule Vorarlberg, Fujifilm Electronics (Belgium), and KLA-Tencor.

Serge Tedesco, lithography program manager at CEA-LETI, noted in a statement that the maskless lithography program is based on the group’s work in e-beam direct-write litho, both in-house and through the Crolles2 Alliance. Laurent Pain, project coordinator at CEA-LETI, added that maskless litho offers the same types of benefits that have driven ST, Qimonda, and TSMC to support e-beam litho: cost benefits, flexibility, and resolution capability. “This consortium is very important to create the necessary dynamics for the technology to take off, as well as to leverage awareness of the technology and reach critical mass for adoption,” he stated .

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