Cymer and ASML ship first EUV source that could extend Moore's law ten more years

July 14, 2009
Lithography systems manufacturer ASML and lithography light-source manufacturer Cymer announced the shipment of the world's first fully integrated laser-produced plasma (LPP) extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography source to ASML.

Lithography systems manufacturer ASML (Veldhoven, The Netherlands) and lithography light-source manufacturer Cymer (San Diego, CA) announced the shipment of the world's first fully integrated laser-produced plasma (LPP) extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography source to ASML. The companies say that EUV will support Moore's Lawthe trend toward more powerful, energy-efficient yet affordable chipsfor at least another ten years (see "Multilayer collector mirrors enable next-generation EUV lithography").

Cymer's EUV source, the first of a multi-unit purchase agreement between the two companies, is currently being installed at ASML's Veldhoven headquarters where it will support integration and testing of next-generation EUV lithography scanners. ASML has received orders for five EUV lithographic systems from memory and logic customers on three continents, with deliveries starting in 2010.

Together with this shipment, Cymer announces achieving a record milestone of 75 W of EUV lithography exposure power (full die exposure) and expects to scale to 100 W within the current quarter, enabling scanner throughput of 60 silicon wafers (300 mm/12 inch) per hour which is required for volume manufacturing with ASML's EUV technology. First shipments of production-capable EUV scanners from ASML are planned a year from now. The source concept will be capable of scaling over time to performance levels consistent with exposing more than 100 wafers per hour when fully integrated into ASML scanners.

EUV is a new lithographic method using a 15 times shorter wavelength than current lithography systems, enabling semiconductor scaling to resolutions of 10 nm and smaller (see "Extreme-UV lithography struggles to shrink chip features"). Bob Akins, CEO of Cymer, said, "We are pleased to be partnering with ASML in the advancement of EUV lithography, which will offer high-resolution, high-throughput, manufacturing capability for the production of advanced ICs with critical dimensions below 22 nm, enabling the continuation of Moore's Law for multiple chip generations to come."

An LPP EUV lithography source, which produces light with 13.5 nm wavelength (invisible to the human eye), represents a significant technology paradigm shift from today's Deep Ultraviolet (DUV) lithography excimer laser sources. In an LPP EUV source, microscopic droplets of molten tin are fired through a vacuum chamber and individually tracked and vaporized by a pulsed high power infrared laseras frequently as 50,000 times per secondcreating a high-temperature tin plasma point source which radiates 13.5 nm wavelength light. A large EUV mirror collects and directs this light into the scanner where it is patterned by a photomask and projected using a complex set of image reduction mirrors onto a light-sensitive silicon wafer, transferring the pattern onto the wafer.

For more information, go to www.cymer.com or www.asml.com.

About the Author

Gail Overton | Senior Editor (2004-2020)

Gail has more than 30 years of engineering, marketing, product management, and editorial experience in the photonics and optical communications industry. Before joining the staff at Laser Focus World in 2004, she held many product management and product marketing roles in the fiber-optics industry, most notably at Hughes (El Segundo, CA), GTE Labs (Waltham, MA), Corning (Corning, NY), Photon Kinetics (Beaverton, OR), and Newport Corporation (Irvine, CA). During her marketing career, Gail published articles in WDM Solutions and Sensors magazine and traveled internationally to conduct product and sales training. Gail received her BS degree in physics, with an emphasis in optics, from San Diego State University in San Diego, CA in May 1986.

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