Multibeam technology predicted for use in advanced photomask production by 2016, says survey

The eBeam Initiative, a forum dedicated to the education and promotion of new semiconductor manufacturing approaches based on electron beam (eBeam) technologies, today announced the completion of the second annual eBeam Initiative survey.  Twenty-eight member companies from across the photomask supply chain participated in the survey.  Participants provided their opinions on a variety of topics critical to advanced photomask production, including the implementation of multibeam mask writing, mask write times at the 10nm node, adoption of eight-inch and larger photomasks, the future of EUV lithography, and the adoption of general purpose graphics processing unit (GPGPU) solutions for simulation-intensive electronic design automation (EDA) applications.  The complete results of the survey will be presented on September 10 during the eBeam Initiative’s annual members meeting at the SPIE Photomask Technology Conference in Monterey, Calif.

Among the highlights of the survey, an overwhelming majority (86 percent) of respondents predict that multibeam mask writers will be in production by 2016 to address the critical problem of increasing mask write times—a 12 percent increase compared to last year’s survey.  Additionally, a strong majority (76 percent) predict mask critical dimension uniformity (CDU) will be an issue in 2015, with 33 percent of respondents believing mask data preparation (MDP) will need to take mask CDU into account as early as next year.

Seventy-five percent of respondents also believe that by 2020 some simulation-intensive software applications in EDA will require GPGPUs.  Hitachi High-Technologies, which joined the eBeam Initiative as a new member earlier this month, will present results using GPGPU-based computational methods to speed verification of mask layouts that use overlapping eBeam shots at the eBeam Initiative’s members meeting tomorrow.

“I want to thank the many eBeam Initiative members that participated in our second annual survey.  The feedback that we received from luminaries on topics critical to the semiconductor and photomask industry has been helpful in confirming key areas to align our efforts on in guiding the industry ecosystem forward in supporting the introduction of new eBeam technologies,” stated Aki Fujimura, CEO of D2S, the managing company sponsor of the eBeam Initiative.  “At the same time, I would like to welcome Hitachi High-Technologies as a new member of the eBeam Initiative.”

The complete results of the eBeam Initiative survey will be available on Wednesday, September 11 for download at


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2 thoughts on “Multibeam technology predicted for use in advanced photomask production by 2016, says survey

  1. Max Pallas

    It’s a pity that the industry has taken so long to catch up with the technology initiated by Etec Systems a decade ago. Before Applied Materials reduced funding to a trickle eventually cancelling the technology completely, Etec had developed a 50kva tool that was capable if using the established Alta data path and a high powered UV laser to act as an exciter for a 32 beam mask production system. Had investment continued at a sustained pace it’s likely that Etec in the guise of Applied Materials would have been at the forefront of multi beam technology and a USA based company would be selling these systems to the Japanese rather than the other way around.

  2. Pingback: eBeam Initiative announces key educational themes for 2014 | Anchor Science LLC

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