Mask writer collaboration announced: IMS Nanofabrication, DNP, Intel and Photronics

IMS Nanofabrication, Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd. (DNP), Intel Corporation, and Photronics Inc. are commencing a joint electron multi‐beam mask writer tool collaboration to advance development of IMS’ electron multi‐beam projection technology. The engagement of DNP, a leading merchant photomask supplier to the electronics industry, augments the recent equity funding round announced by IMS that included participation from Intel and Photronics. Dr. Hans Loeschner of IMS Nanofabrication said: “Our eMET POC project is on track: in December we inserted a 256k-APS (k=1024 / Aperture Plate System) blanking unit into the novel 200x reduction electron optical column, providing 262,144 programmable beams of 20nm beam size and 50keV beam energy within a 82µm x 82µm multi-beam field. Our target resolution of 40nm HP and 24nm iso lines was achieved.” Results will be presented Feb 14, 2:00 PM at SPIE (ALT-IV, Session 4, paper 8323-15).

“We are pleased with the support being provided by DNP, Intel and Photronics as we work to develop our electron mask exposure tool (eMET) technology for sub 22nm mask writing applications,” said Max Bayerl, CEO of IMS.

Naoya Hayashi, Research Fellow, Electronic Device Operations, DNP said, “We believe the development of IMS Nanofabrication’s Multi‐Beam Technology through the mutual global collaboration is quite significant as the next generation high efficient pattern writing platform."

“Intel is encouraged by the lithography capability demonstrated to date by IMS,” said Chiang Yang, Vice President and General Manager of Intel Mask Operations (IMO). “We believe that industry collaboration to develop promising photomask technologies leads to robust solutions that are critical to help extend Moore’s Law.”

DNP, Intel and Photronics are the first industry participants to sign the technology collaboration agreement with IMS to support its eMET development program. Collaboration participants will provide input to IMS on mask manufacturing issues that are critical to leading‐edge device manufacturers and to leading merchant mask makers. The participants expect to benefit from early access to the eMET technology and from eventual commercialization of the technology in partnership with additional industry players.

Christopher Progler, Chief Technology Officer, Photronics, said, “Formation of this collaboration is a timely and very positive step forward as IMS continues to build momentum toward commercialization of their multi‐beam column. Photronics looks forward to strong participation as technology collaborator on this critical program.”

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