PARIS After months of wait, Mapper Lithography BV and CEA-Leti announced that Mapper has shipped one of its 300-mm electron-beam lithography platform to CEA-Leti in Grenoble, France.
The machine will be used for Imagine, a three-year program focused on electron-beam direct write lithography for IC manufacturing for 22-nm and beyond. That effort will cover a range of topics, including tool assessment, patterning and process integration, data handling and cost of ownership studies.
The Imagine program aims to reach throughput of 10 wafers per hour per exposure module. As is, this rate would compete with other technologies on a wafers-per-square-meter basis and will offer a better solution in terms of modularity and power consumption, Leti indicated.
Mapper said its e-beam maskless lithography tool uses over 10,000 electron beams working in parallel to directly write circuit patterns on a wafer, eliminating the need for the costly photomasks used in current lithography machines. Its 300mm, 110-beam platform will be upgraded in the next two years to reach industrial maturity.
The initial step was in December 2008, when CEA-Leti and Mapper Lithography BV signed an agreement under which Mapper would ship its 300-mm electron-beam lithography platform to CEA-Leti in Grenoble.
At the 11th Leti Annual Review on June 22, Laurent Malier, CEO of Leti, told EE Times Europe that the 300-mm e-beam lithography platform had not been delivered yet due to a slight delay on Mapper's side.
Discussing on lithography, Malier then highlighted the problem of the spiraling cost of photomasks and explained that Leti is pursuing its research on e-beam direct write lithography as it believes this technology can provide flexibility for prototyping as well as a viable manufacturing solution if throughput issues are solved.
In the interview, Malier concluded: "At Leti, we do not believe in EUV. We have seen what has been achieved in Albany, and we have realized that it makes no sense to pursue research. They work on EUV, we work on e-beam. This is our battle horse although we are not fully convinced that it will satisfy all requirements."