SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Looking to gain ground on its competitors, Japan's Gigaphoton Inc. plans to soon ship its first laser source line for 157-nm lithography tools.
The company is preparing to deliver a single-line, fluorine (F2) laser source for use with the industry's 157-nm R&D lithography tools "very soon," said Roy Hoshino, general manager of the sales and planning division at Gigaphoton. The Tokyo-based company is a joint venture between Komatsu Ltd. and Ushio Inc. in Japan.
Gigaphoton currently sells a range of laser sources, including products for 248-nm (krypton fluoride) and 193-nm (argon fluoride) tools. With the new F2-based product line, the company hopes to get an early jump in the upcoming 157-nm lithography generation, said Hoshino, during an interview at the SPIE Microlithography Conference in Santa Clara,
The Japanese joint venture is also trying to take market share away from its two major competitors: Cymer Inc. and Lambda Physik Inc. At present, Gigaphoton claims to be the world's second largest supplier of laser sources, behind Cymer.
Cymer of San Diego has 75% market share, while Gigaphoton has 15%, Hoshino said. Lambda Physik of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., has 10%, according to Hoshino.
Gigaphoton's market share is increasing despite a downturn in the semiconductor capital equipment business, he said. "Our business is growing, but we're coming from a much smaller base," he claimed.