TSMC joins <10nm lithography mask writer project

August 24, 2012 — Semiconductor foundry Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (TSMC) has joined IMS Nanofabrication AG’s multibeam mask writer development collaboration to develop an electron multi-beam mask writer for use in advanced mask lithography applications, joining founding members Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd. (DNP), Intel Corporation and Photronics Inc.

The program’s aim is a lithographic process that meets <10nm patterning requirements at high throughput for leading-edge semiconductor manufacturing. It began in January 2012.

The team is finishing up its proof-of-concept phase; the upcoming phase will focus on the design and construction of an alpha and beta version of the multi-beam mask writer.

The multi-beam mask writer project’s focus on accuracy and high productivity is “encouraging,” said C.S. Yoo, head of E-Beam Operation (EBO) at TSMC, noting a release goal of 2015.

TSMC is the top semiconductor foundry globally, according to IC Insights, and Gartner. IMS believes that by enlisting customers early in the development phase, the design and operation of this new architecture will readily adapt to the needs of a high volume manufacturing environment. The 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. Collaboration members expect to benefit from early access to the electron mask exposure tool (eMET) technology and from the commercialization of the technology in partnership with additional industry players. This collaboration is representative of a new approach to managing development programs that are needed to address critical demands in mask making.

DNP is a comprehensive printing company involved in publication printing, commercial printing, smart cards, business forms, network business and electronic components, among others. For more information on DNP, please visit: http://www.dnp.co.jp/eng/

IMS Nanofabrication AG is a high-tech company with extensive know-how in charged particle systems. IMS offers solutions to directly transfer custom designed patterns to resist or to generate resist-less two and three dimensional surface modifications with features below 20 nanometers. IMS focuses its efforts on the development and production of key tool components for mask writing and direct write lithography applications. For more information on IMS Nanofabrication AG, visit: www.ims.co.at

Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) is a world leader in computing innovation. The company designs and builds the essential technologies that serve as the foundation for the world’s computing devices. Additional information about Intel is available at www.intel.com.

Photronics Inc. is a leading worldwide manufacturer of photomasks. Additional information on the Company can be accessed at: www.photronics.com

TSMC is a global dedicated semiconductor foundry. Additional information can be accessed at: www.tsmc.com.

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