TOKYO - Ten Japanese companies have formed an R&D association to develop a high-power laser technology by 2005 for use in extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography systems.
The Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography System Development Association (EUVA) has applied for a research contract from Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and expects to receive a contract worth about $8.7 million in July. METI is funding the development of several EUV-related technologies, including process masks and resist materials, for 50-nanometer and finer lithographic processes as defined by the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors. According to the road map, 50-nm lithography systems will require a laser with an output power of more than 20 watts, with attendant stability, uniformity, and lifetime to satisfy process requirements.
EUVA consortium members include stepper manufacturers Canon and Nikon, semiconductor makers Fujitsu, Hitachi, Mitsubishi, NEC and Toshiba, excimer laser manufacturers Ushio and Gigaphoton, and the latter's parent, Komatsu Ltd.
EUVA plans to build an alpha version of a prototype EUV lithography system by the end of 2005.