Will SVG ship 157-nm scanner on time to Intel?
Don't look now, but ASM Lithography's Silicon Valley Group (SVG) unit is rapidly approaching another big deadline on its tool shipment calendar. This time SVG is working hard to deliver a 157-nm step-and-scan system to Intel Corp., which plans to use the scanner in next-generation process development.
In the late 1990s, Intel and San Jose-based SVG announced plans to co-develop a 157-nm lithography for advanced chip manufacturing. Intel was supposed to get the first--and perhaps only--157-nm tools from SVG.
Originally, SVG was aiming to deliver the first 157-nm tools to Intel in late 2000, according to sources, but the system was delayed for undisclosed reasons.
But then, Intel decided to reschedule delivery of the 157-nm tool sometime this summer, which technically ends in about three weeks.
So far, SVG unit has not yet shipped the 157-nm tool, according to Gerald Marcyk, director of Intel's Components Research Group. SVG--which is now owned by ASML of the Netherlands--will ship the system "very shortly," Marcyk told SBN at this week's Intel Developer Forum (IDF) in San Jose.
The Intel executive would not elaborate, but he noted that the 157-nm tool is headed for the company's 300-mm development fab in Hillsboro, Ore.
SVG's 157-nm scanner is scheduled to be used to develop Intel's first 300-mm processes for the 0.07-micron (70-nm) technology node. This technology, called P1264 by Intel, will have0.035-micron (35-nm) gate lengths. It is now slated to be ready for production in 2005.
In the past six months, SVG has stumbled in shipping its 193-nm systems to Intel. The tools have been delayed several times, but now are reportedly set for delivery to Intel in October. --M.L.
Intel is banking 157-nm
while it waits for EUV
Despite great hopes for extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography, Intel is banking on a productive life for 157-nm scanners.
Currently, Intel is using 248-nm lithography tools for its 130-nm (0.13-micron) process technology, but the company aims to migrate to 193-nm exposure systems for 100-nm (0.l0-micron) processes.
For now, the Santa Clara, Calif., company plans to use 157-nm scanners at the 70-nm (0.07-micron) node, and it is not counting on the use of next-generation lithography (NGL) technologies, such as EUV, said Gerald Marcyk, director of Intel's Components Research Group this week.
An Intel-led U.S. consortium is developing an EUV tool, which can support the 70-nm and 50-nm (0.05-micron) nodes. But still, the 157-nm steo-and-scan systems will be in production "long before" any NGL tools are ready, Marcyk predicted. --M.L.
Via Technologies camps out near IDF
During the week of the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) in San Jose, Taiwan's Via Technologies Inc. appeared to be turning up the volume in its war of words with Intel Corp.
For the first time ever, Via Technologies had a presence at IDF--albeit unofficial. During the first day of the show on Monday, the Taipei-based company hosted a small reception at a restaurant in San Jose near the two main drags of IDF--the San Jose Convention Center and Fairmont Hotel.
Via was present to talk about its new Pentium 4 chip set and promote its efforts in the U.S. market despite what the company says are threats of legal actions from Intel. "I think the major reason why we are here is to explain the benefits of our Pentium 4-complaint chip
set and DDR memory on the Pentium 4 platform," said Richard Brown, director of international marketing of Via Technologies.
But it an interview with SBN, Brown was also quick to accuse Intel of "scare
tactics" in the market. "Intel has adopted a policy of 'scare tactics' to purposely prevent manufacturers from using our chip set," Brown said. Earlier, an Intel spokesman would not directly comment about those claims, but he only said Via does not have the rights to produce Pentium 4-compatible chip set products. --M.L.