As the semiconductor industry strives to move beyond 100-nm feature boundaries, the cycle for optical lithographic technology is expected to evolve from a market of early adopters of 193-nm technology in 2001 into a more general mass-market adoption in 2003. This conclusion is the result of the reported industry consensus of more than 150 lithography tool manufacturers, material suppliers, and chipmakers who gathered last December at the eighth annual industry symposium �The Road to 100 nm and Beyond.� The symposium, cohosted by Cymer (San Diego, CA) and Seiko Instruments Inc. (Chiba, Japan), was held in conjunction with SEMICON Japan 2000.
Identifiable trends also showed that both krypton fluoride (KrF) and argon fluoride (ArF) technology are being deployed at the 130-nm wavelength and that ArF is the preferred technology for 100-nm applications. In addition, production issues associated with calcium fluoride (CaF2) at 193 nm were analyzed with plans to resolve them within the next 12 months.
�The symposium provided an excellent opportunity for leading lithography experts and chipmakers to come together to discuss the challenges facing the lithography community and developments to date,� noted David Brandt, Cymer's senior director of marketing.
Specific presentation topics included a general market overview and roadmap for the lithography arena; the challenges facing chipmakers in the industry environment; KrF and resolution-enhancement techniques for lithography applications; and future plans for ArF. Presenters included representatives from Samsung (Seoul, Korea), Hitachi Ltd. (Tokyo, Japan), Mitsubishi Electric Corp. (Tokyo, Japan), Intel Corp. (Santa Clara, CA), and Cymer.
The symposium emphasized the latest developments in light-source technology, including a presentation on Cymer's fourth-generation extreme-ultraviolet technology design based on dense plasma focus, which was delivered by Igor Fomenkov, a member of Cymer's technical staff. A panel discussion was also held to address the obstacles and hurdles of ArF lithography applications. The panel, which was facilitated by Tohru Ogawa, (Sony Corp; Tokyo, Japan), included representatives from ASML (Veldhoven, The Netherlands), Canon Inc. (Tokyo, Japan), DuPont Photomask (Round Rock, TX), Nikon (Tokyo, Japan), Schott ML GmbH (Mainz, Germany), Tokyo Ohka Kogyo Co. (Tokyo, Japan), and Cymer.
Hassaun A. Jones-Bey, Senior Editor