SAN FRANCISCO—Semiconductor equipment vendor KLA-Tencor Corp. Tuesday (June 21) joined chip-making vendor consortium Sematech's lithography defect reduction program at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) of the University at Albany.
KLA-Tencor (Milpitas, Calif.) will collaborate with Sematech engineers at the defect reduction center for extreme ultraviolet (EUV) tool and materials technology, Sematech said. Specific areas for collaboration include defect source identification and elimination using leading-edge metrology, printability, and characterization methods to advance mask metrology infrastructure and metrology source development, as well as overall EUV manufacturability and extendibility, the organization said.
EUV lithography—the leading candidate to replace optical lithography in chip manufacturing at future process nodes—uses a source wavelength that is15 times shorter than current lithography systems, enabling semiconductor scaling to resolutions of 10 nanometers and smaller. Lowering the defect density of EUV lithography is considered critical for inserting it into high-volume manufacturing.
The introduction of EUV into high-volume manufacturing has been pushed back several times. Currently, according to Sematech, EUV lithography is projected to be introduced at the 22-nm half-pitch node in 2012 and 2013 at leading IC manufacturers.
"There are too many challenges in moving EUVL to cost-effective manufacturing to solve alone," said Dan Armbrust, Sematech's president and CEO, in a statement. "Increased collaboration with equipment suppliers in the early stages of technological innovation is increasingly required to obtain the breakthrough results that are needed."