SAN JOSE, Calif.—ASML Holding NV has recently shipped the world's first ''pre-production'' extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography tool to a customer, reportedly Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., sources said.
It's unclear if EUV is ready for prime time, as the power source and other technologies remain behind schedule. The throughput remains a problem, as the tool is running only 10 to 12 wafers per hour—far below what is needed in high-volume production fabs, sources said.
In its recent results, ASML said it shipped the first of its second-generation EUV systems, the NXE:3100, to an undisclosed customer manufacturing site. The NXE:3100 will offer a resolution of 27-nm with a numerical aperture (NA) of 0.25, overlay of less than 4.5-nm and a throughput of 60 wafers per hour.
A ''pre-production'' EUV scanner from ASML runs about 60 million euros, or $86.9 million, per unit. Some say that price tag could hit $125 million when ASML ships a production-worthy tool.
Five additional NXE:3100 systems are in various stages of buildup in ASML's cleanroom in Veldhoven, the Netherlands. All of these machines will have been shipped to customers by mid-2011.
Samsung reportedly obtained the first tool. Future customers include Intel, Toshiba, TSMC, Hynix, and IMEC. ASML declined to comment on the customer and power source issues.
''We did ship the first NXE:3100 system at the beginning of Q410. It was installed at the customer's R&D site and did expose wafers before the end of the year. We haven't disclosed the customer,'' according to a spokesman for ASML. ''Exactly where customers choose to insert EUV is of course their decision and based on a number of factors.''
''Updates on source power will be given by all parties (ASML, Cymer, Ushio/Xtreme, Gigaphoton) at SPIE,'' the spokesman said.
For its part, Samsung hopes to produce DRAMs at the sub-20-nm node with EUV. Hynix and Micron are also looking at EUV for similar reasons. On the logic front, IBM Corp.'s ''fab club'' is looking to insert EUV at the 14-nm node.
If EUV is not ready, IBM also has the option to move to 193-nm, double patterning, plus various computational lithography techniques, said Gary Patton, vice president of IBM's Semiconductor Research and Development Center, in a recent interview.
Patton said there are still concerns about the power source, resists and defect-free mask technology for EUV.
ASML's rival, Nikon Corp., believes EUV will not be ready for the 22-nm node. Nikon has devised two EUV alpha tools. One is installed at the company's headquarters, while one is running in Selete, a Japanese R&D organization.
Nikon believes the world will use 193-nm immersion and double-patterning at 22-nm. It is shipping the NSR-S620D for 32-nm double patterning, with extendibility to 22-nm applications. It competes with ASML's 193-nm immersion tool, dubbed the TWINSCAN NXT:1950i.
When you say "these machines will have been shipped to customers by mid-2011" you mean production worth tool or tool will be sent to R&D site ?
If its R&D then I think there is still long way to go before EUV era begins.
As mentioned earlier, EUV was originally intended for 100 nm and now can only be targeted for 10 nm or less. This is an order of magnitude or more tighter requirements. But the tools did not improve an order of magnitude. At the same time, the 193 nm wavelength was able to cover this entire range. So the relevance of wavelength selection is disappearing quickly.
First. I see, that the future of EUV is adequate beyond 10-14nm resolution. Indeed, if we use short, one-pulse laser many-beams lithography tool plus nonlinear sofisticated resists as a part on wafer image formation process we will have this.
Second. We will use non-traditional logic before charge transmission, Imean tha the wawe function will going between some logic elements based on QD. The nuts of this I see that we can use one step lithography on layer of metallization. Otherwords, we can make fully flat logic. The idea this logic based on researrchers form France, but realisation, as I suppose, fully new.
Since memory structures are approaching 4F^2 shape factor, this can be accommodated by crossed line patterning with spacers. For logic, the use of incrementally increasing exposures is already the default plan. So the industry will go on as usual. Introducing EUV at 22 nm is already much harder than the original plan to introduce at 100 nm. But it's already too late for 22, and even 15 nm.
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