SAN JOSE, Calif. – At the SPIE Advanced Lithography conference here, KLA-Tencor Corp. has outlined its metrology and inspection tool roadmap for extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography.
The San Jose-based equipment giant tipped the 7xx line of tools for three separate applications in EUV: mask blank inspection, pattern inspection and requalification. Separately, KLA-Tencor also entered the LED inspection arena.
In EUV, KLA-Tencor has received funding from various undisclosed sources. Still in the R&D stage, the proposed machines include a critical actinic reticle inspection tool, a 13.5-nm wavelength machine said to inspect EUV masks.
''For KLA, actinic is the most expensive tool that we’ve ever developed,’’ said Brian Haas, vice president and general manager for the Reticle Inspection Division at KLA-Tencor, during a panel discussion here on Monday (Feb. 28).
Hass said KLA-Tencor has launched its EUV tool R&D programs, but he also warned that equipment makers are taking huge risks in the arena. At present, EUV still suffers from the lack of power sources, resists and defect-free masks.
What also concerns Haas is the throughput. ASML Holding NV’s current pre-production EUV tool is producing only 8-10 wafers per hour, according to Barclays Capital.
To become a viable business model for fab tool vendors, EUV must have a sustained throughput of 80 wafers an hour, he said. ''If not 80 wafers an hour, the economics break down’’ in EUV, he said.
If EUV can only make 50 wafers an hour, EUV will only see limited adoption, making the return-on-investment somewhat questionable for tool makers, he said. If EUV can make 100 wafers an hour, EUV will see good adoption. If EUV can make 150 wafers an hour, EUV will see ''broad’’ adoption and the return-on-investment is a certainty in the industry, he said.
KLA-Tencor, Zeiss and others are developing various tools for EUV and for good reason. Not long ago, Intel, Samsung, Sematech and others warned that there is still a major funding shortfall and a lack of mask inspection gear to enable EUV.