SANTA CLARA, Calif.--During the SPIE Microlithography show this week, IBM Corp. provided details about its lithography strategy, disclosing it has pushed out 157-nm and next-generation tools on its roadmap.
IBM originally planned to use 193-nm tools at the 90-nm node in 2003 and 157-nm scanners at 65-nm in 2005. Now, the company plans to extend 193-nm tools to the 65-nm node, thereby pushing out 157-nm scanners to the 45-nm node, said George Gomba, senior manager of lithography development at IBM's Microelectronics Division, based in East Fishkill, N.Y.
Sources believe that IBM is using 193-nm tools from ASML Holding NV for use in processing 130- and 90-mm devices in its new 300-mm fab in East Fishkill. Gomba declined to comment on IBM's equipment vendors.
IBM's roadmap is similar to that of Intel Corp., which is also pushing out 157-nm scanners, as well as extreme ultraviolet (EUV) tools, due to delays with those technologies. However, Intel is using 193-nm tools from ASML and Nikon Corp. (see Feb. 16 story ).
Officials from IBM denied it was following Intel's footsteps. "We are not following Intel," Gomba said. "We made the decision to use 193-nm tools at the 65-nm node 18 months ago," he told SBN in an interview at SPIE.
For the 32-nm node, IBM is also evaluating several next-generation lithography technologies (NGL), such as electron-beam projection, EUV, and others, Gomba said.
But it's unclear which direction the company will take, given the complexities and uncertainties with these technologies. Earlier this week at SPIE, IBM urged the semiconductor and chip-equipment industries to settle their differences and cooperate for the timely development of NGL tools (see Feb. 25 story ).