SANTA CLARA, Calif. An IBM Corp. executive urged the semiconductor and chip-equipment industries to settle their differences and cooperate for the timely development of next-generation lithography (NGL) tools.
Chip and fab-tool makers must expand their cooperative efforts to develop the embryonic infrastructure for advanced NGL tools, especially for the 32-nm node in the 2009 time frame, said George Gomba, senior manager of lithography development at IBM Corp.'s Microelectronics Division, based in East Fishkill, N.Y.
"Optical lithography will eventually get us to the 45-nm node," Gomba said. "But there's an enormous amount of development work that needs to be done beyond the 45-nm node," he said during a presentation at the SPIE Microlithography conference here Tuesday (Feb. 25th).
When the 45-nm node moves into production in 2007, IC makers are expected to insert 157-nm lithography tools, Gomba said. "157-nm has a significant infrastructure," he said. "The others have a lot of work to do."
The IBM technologist was referring to the current NGL candidates, such as electron-beam projection lithography (EPL), extreme ultraviolet (EUV), and even immersion lithography.
These NGL technologies are geared for the 45- or 32-nm nodes, but the various candidates are still in their infancies. And there are several consortia working on NGL, many of which are competing with each other.
However, the industry must settle their differences and work closer to accelerate the development of these tools, resists and masks, according to Gomba. The industry must work closer together in order to "build up the infrastructure" in NGL, he said.