Back in 1997, Intel led the formation of EUV LLC, a consortium that planned to commercialize extreme ultraviolet lithography by 2005. Advanced Micro Devices, IBM, Infineon and Micron were among the companies that signed on to the effort.
EUV was supposed to have replaced conventional optical lithography by now. But optical lithography is still driving the semiconductor engine, while EUV now is targeted for early production in 2012-or perhaps 2015 or 2016, depending on who's offering the estimate. Some say it may never work.
Others are pushing for nanoimprint, maskless lithography or an emerging technology called self-assembly. And there are those who hope to extend today's optical lithography indefinitely.
Was EUV the wrong bet for the industry? If so, what should it be working on instead? And who will benefit in the long run?
During the recent SPIE Advanced Lithography conference and other events, EE Times posed these questions to lithography experts and executives. Here are their responses.