SAN JOSE, Calif. Rivals ASML Holding NV and Nikon Corp. here separately claimed to be the technical leaders in lithography.
Japan's Nikon Wednesday (Feb. 28) said that it has shipped the world's first immersion lithography system capable of 45-nm production. The NSR-S610C, a 193-nm immersion scanner with a projection lens numerical aperture (NA) of 1.30, has been shipped to a major IC manufacturer, reportedly Toshiba Corp., sources said.
Nikon rolled out the tool last year.
ASML, meanwhile, claims that it is the leader. In 2005, ASML of the Netherlands announced a new lithography system with an NA of 1.2. The XT:1700i system is a 193-nm immersion scanner capable of volume chip production at the 45-nm node.
Then, last year, it introduced the XT:1900i, a 193-nm immersion scanner with an NA of 1.35. While ASML has been shipping the 1700i for some time, it plans to deliver the 1900i by mid-2007.
This week, ASML showed two sets of breakthrough lithography results, including 37-nm dense lines produced on the XT:1900i, and both 32-nm dense lines and dense contact holes from its extreme ultraviolet (EUV) Alpha Demo Tool (ADT).