SAN JOSE, Calif. - Japan's Toppan Printing Co. Ltd. has extended a joint development agreement with IBM for a leading-edge photomask process, covering the 14-nm technology node for logic devices. The firms will extend 193-nm immersion lithography for that node, it was noted.
The development work will take place at IBM’s photomask facility in Essex Junction, Vt., and Toppan’s Asaka photomask facility in Niiza, Saitama, Japan, from January 2011 through 2012.
''Several new technologies including extreme ultraviolet (EUV) have been evaluated for next-generation lithography solutions. While Toppan Printing is committed to supporting those developments, IBM has successfully developed a technology roadmap for ArF immersion lithography, a current mainstream technology that allows its extension to the 14-nm generation through the use of IBM’s highly regarded resolution enhancement techniques. As a result, Toppan and IBM will focus their joint development efforts on ArF immersion lithography for the 14-nm node,'' according to Toppan.
''The 14-nm logic technology node is likely to be the final node capable of being produced with optical lithography alone, and may prove to be an early transition point into EUV development. Future nodes are expected to deploy EUV lithography in order to print features beyond the diffraction limit associated with 193-nm lithography,'' according to Toppan.
This new agreement represents the continuation of a partnership that began in 2005 with 45-nm photomask process development, and has progressed through the 32-nm, 28-nm, 22-nm, and 20-nm technology nodes. The jointly developed photomask manufacturing processes have been essential contributors to advanced wafer process development by IBM and its partners in East Fishkill and Albany, NY.