Lam faces a heady job turning e-beam into an etching tool for advanced immersion processes. One source says the company is seeking an additional $30 million in investment to fund a proof of concept. Lam says that figure is not accurate but declines to talk about his funding situation.
Others say it's ironic the industry is reluctant to spend a few million on Multibeam's plan after pumping $5 bilion to 10 billion on EUV with still no guarantee it will ever work. "Our cost of development is a very big trade secret, but it's much less than the costs for EUV," Lam said.
The costs are more than offset by what Lam estimates could be a billion-dollar opportunity for e-beam -- even if EUV is successfully deployed at the 10nm node as some currently hope. But even with his costs covered, it could still take Lam's team three years to finish a working system, although he hopes to hit significant milestones before that time.
The next few pages show illustrations of how Multibeam's so-called Complementary E-Beam Lithography (CEBL) approach would work and efforts on it to date.