LONDON – Dutch lithography equipment specialist ASML Holding NV (ASML) has announced an agreement made with semiconductor production equipment supplier Tokyo Electron Ltd. (TEL) to accelerate joint development activities in extreme ultraviolet and ArF immersion lithography clusters.
As part of this agreement, TEL has agreed to deliver its newest EUV coater/developer to ASML in Veldhoven and TEL and ASML will provide equipment at their respective facilities in Kumamoto, Japan and Veldhoven, the Netherlands.
EUV is expected to become a key lithography option at 22-nm and beyond while ArF optical lithography with immersion will continue to be mainstream technology for critical layers of chip production, ASML said.
ASML said the two companies would use AMSL's Twinscan NXE:3300 and TEL's newest coater/developer collaborate to establish EUV process development for sub-22nm nodes by the end of 2012. The focus will on such factors as reducing line width roughness, mitigating pattern collapse, controlling defects and improving critical dimension uniformity. Meanwhile ASML plans to install an ArF immersion scanner at TEL's Kumamoto Koshi facility.
The industry has a current solution of double patterning that works for a while. There is no reason for a change so EUV is becoming not necessary at this point.Also The industry does not like to change technology very often...so the bottom line EUV might be the tool for 14nm or maybe only at the next generation.