MANHASSET, N.Y. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (TSMC) has agreed to become a core partner in IMEC's sub-45-nm CMOS research program.
TSMC is the eighth IC maker to join IMEC's core program, joining Infineon, Intel, Matsushita/Panasonic, Philips, Samsung, STMicroelectronics, and Texas Instruments
Since the launch of the 300-mm research platform, the front-end-of-line has run sine July, and the installation of the back-end-of-line has gained momentum. Research focus has shifted from the 45- node to the 32-nm node and beyond with programs on advanced lithography, front-end-of-line, advanced interconnect solutions, cleaning and contamination control and exploratory research on emerging devices.
The advanced lithography program currently focuses on 193-nm immersion lithography, presently on an ASML XT 1250i scanner, and as of mid 2006, on an ASML XT1700i scanner with hyper-NA of 1.2. IMEC is also starting up an EUV program based on a strategic agreement with ASML to install an early full-field alpha demo tool.
IMEC's front-end-of-line research program package consists of planar CMOS device integration research, research on advanced high-k and metal-gate-stack materials and processes, and non-planar CMOS device research with focus on FINFETs.