SAN JOSE, Calif. Nikon Corp. Tuesday (Feb. 27) announced a joint development program with CEA-Leti in advanced lithography.
The work will examine the potential of double exposure and double patterning for 32-nm semiconductor devices, and will utilize a leading-edge Nikon scanner located in CEA-Leti's Nanotec 300 research facility. CEA-Leti is one of Europe's leading microelectronics research centers.
Double patterning was added to the ITRS roadmap in 2006 as a potential solution for 32-nm lithography. Extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography and high-index immersion are also listed as potential solutions on the ITRS roadmap, but the development timeline for those technologies may limit them from being used for 32-nm applications.
''CEA-Leti offers a state-of-the-art facility with all of the processes required for double patterning,'' said Toshikazu Umatate, executive officer for the Precision Equipment Co. at Nikon (Tokyo), in a statement. ''Our collaboration with Leti enables us to leverage their process expertise and our lithography knowledge to develop the best exposure tools and processes for this challenging technology.''
In a statement, Olivier Demolliens, head of the Nanotec Division at CEA-Leti, said: "[Double-exposure/double-patterning] is the main solution foreseen for the 32-nm node, bridging the gap between immersion and EUV, but there are still a lot of issues that need to be addressed on equipment, process, mask and CAD. Together with Nikon equipment and expertise, we have built a consortium that will address all these developments."
Nikon also outlined its roadmap in the extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography arena and disclosed plans to ship two prototype tools by year's end. The first two tools are reportedly heading to Intel Corp. and Selete, sources said.