Archive for July, 2012

Jul 24 2012

Semicon2012 – EUV pushes out

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At this years Semicon in San Francisco, the focus on new items was the inclusion of MEMS, LEDs, Sensors and a start of the 450mm wafer movement, but EUV was still the “tech of the future”. While progress was made on the light sources for the imaging system, the challenge and costs of EUV blanks, masks, and overall throughput were still not up to implmentable levels. It is now a sub 14nm technology.

The solution space for the 2Xnm nodes and the 1Xnm nodes is to push immersion litho with double, triple and quad patterning, and in the case of CEA Leti – direct write eBeam imaging for the prototypes. The discussion did not extend to the inclusion of the eBeam Initiative style shape based flash or just shooting circles as is traditionally done. Some of the development from other vendors includes use of polymer self assembly on 1-2 layers as a new step. This option has a different cleaning step from traditional flows.

The litho issue was not a challenge for the MEMs and LED worlds which are process driven rather than litho driven. The show had some major processing equip for MEMs back ends, but they are still running older processes that allow them to be patterned with standard 193nm Immersion litho. The LETI group and the IMEC groups were both working on new device structures, stacked die, interconnect and novel circuits. These studies are suppored by the Alliance for Nanascale VLSI which includes Leti as a member.

By contrast, the big US effort is the 450mm fab building and flow taht is being deveilped at University of Albany (CSNE Albany) where IBM, Samsung, and Intel are all building the facility to create and test 450mm wafer process equip and flows.

This years show was fairly small as the sessions dominated the show floor and the Intersolar show appeared to be the equipment center for the US.

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