Major semiconductor makers order EUV lithography metrology tool from Carl Zeiss

April 25, 2012 — Carl Zeiss Semiconductor Metrology Systems (SMS) Division won orders for its extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUVL) actinic aerial image metrology system, AIMS EUV, from 2 of the 4 members of SEMATECH’s EMI partnership (GLOBALFOUNDRIES, Intel, Samsung Electronics, TSMC). The tool allows semiconductor makers to review defects in advanced masks needed for EUVL.

The remaining 2 EMI members are expected to place orders in accordance with their agreed-upon slot assignments, noted Dr. Oliver Kienzle, managing director of Carl Zeiss SMS.

Carl Zeiss SMS developed the AIMS EUV tool in cooperation with the scanner optics department of Carl Zeiss SMT, Lithography Optics (LIT), and external partners.

Kienzle notes that the metrology tool wins “confirm the relevance of EUV technology for the industry.” Metrology tools for EUVL are an industry need that could benefit from governments’ support, asserted Dan Armbrust, president & CEO of SEMATECH, at the SEMI Industry Strategy Symposium (ISS) 2011.

The AIMS EUV platform enables development and manufacturing of defect-free EUVL masks supporting the 22nm half-pitch (hp) technology node, with extendibility to 16nm hp. A first production-ready platform is scheduled for delivery in Q3 2014.

SEMATECH’s EMI project, begun in 2010, tackles the infrastructure gap for EUV mask manufacturing, by funding development of critical metrology tools. EMI is administered by SEMATECH’s Lithography Program, based at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) of the University at Albany. At SEMICON West 2011, Stefan Wurm, SEMATECH, discussed EUV lithography’s infrastructure, saying the SEMATECH EMI initiative was successful in developing commercial tools through a joint development agreement with Carl Zeiss, and commercial actinic blank inspection that meets memory manufacturer needs through EIDEC. SEMATECH is now working to extend inspection to meet all industry needs (memory, logic, and foundry).

Recent news from the SEMATECH Lithography program: SEMATECH adds Inpria resists to EUV lithography work

EMI’s first major project involved SEMATECH and Carl Zeiss collaborating on the development and manufacturing of the first actinic aerial image metrology EUV system targeted for EUVL volume production.

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