TOKYO -- Canon Inc. today announced it will invest an additional $100 million to increase production of lithography tools, including advanced wafer steppers and scanners capable of supporting 300-mm fabs.
The company said its expanded manufacturing complex in Utsunomiya, Japan, will operate at an annual capacity of 500 systems per year by the third quarter of 2001. The new investment will increase Canon's production of wafer steppers, scanners, and mirror projection aligners.
Canon said the new $100 million (10 billion yen) round of funding will bring total investments for new capacity in its Semiconductor Production Equipment Group to $260 million (26 billion yen). Last month, the Japanese lithography supplier announced plans to build a new plant next year in Yuuki City to make calcium-fluoride (CaF2) material for lenses in next-generation 193-nm argon-fluoride (ArF) lithography scanners. Canon also last month confirmed it would begin large-scale commercial production of its new ArF excimer scanner, the FPA-5000AS2, in 2001 (see Aug. 25 story).
In addition to manufacturing and assembly capabilities, the new expansion will include production testing and support equipment as well as a 50% increase in cleanroom space, said Canon.
The new capacity will support Canon's 300-mm lithography tool set, a krypton fluoride (KrF) scan-and-repeat system, called the FPA-5000ES3. The new capacity will also support Canon's ArF scanner, the FPA-5000AS2, as well as the FPA-5500iZ i-line stepper system. And extra capacity will be available for Canon's 200-mm FPA-3000EX6 KrF stepper, and the FPA-3000i5+ and FPA-3000iW i-line steppers, said the company.
For flat-panel display customers, Canon is expanding its production of a new mirror projection aligner, the MPA-6000, which has a full-field exposure size of 880-by-1,000 mm.
Canon reported that its has spent $80 million on a new 182,800-square-foot optics R&D center in Utsunomiya, which houses a staff of 600 workers engaged in research and development of high NA 248-nm, 193-nm and 157-nm lithography tools as well as extreme ultraviolet (EUV) and multi e-beam direct-write (MEBDW) systems.