SAN JOSE, Calif. – Work on a 250W light source needed for extreme ultraviolet lithography will be reported next week at Photonics West. The event will also host news about promising infrared and near-infrared cameras and data communications using LED light.
The annual conference offers a smorgasbord of advances in optical technologies. They span emerging technologies and new science including this year new techniques in astronomy for viewing the universe and new ways to image the brain
Gigaphoton Inc. of Japan will describe its progress toward a 250W light source for EUV lithography. The company recently released data on its 118W light source and worked with Mitsubishi Electric on a higher average power CO2 laser.
Engineers have long identified a 250W source as a key element to get EUV systems ready to mass produce chips. To date, ASML, the sole developer of EUV systems, has shipped multiple prototypes using 80W light sources. It was expected to ship its first 125W system at the end of the year using technology acquired with Cymer.
ASML has demonstrated a 250W light source in its labs, but getting it to perform consistently has been a challenge. The light source helps improve throughput on the systems which can print the fine lines needed for leading-edge chips.
Gigaphoton was a founding member of an early EUV industry group from 2002-2010. It got its start in 2004 shipping laser light sources for existing ArF excimer litho systems and now claims a 50% share of the market with most of its sales in Korea and Taiwan.
Gigaphoton’s EUV work is “an offshoot, but it’s an interesting offshoot -- they have a shot at it,” said G. Dan Hutcheson, president of market watcher VLSI Research. “If they come up with something better than what Cymer has, I’m sure ASML would accept it -- they don’t want to lose out on EUV for the lack of a good light bulb,” he said.
However, Gigaphoton “has to make [its EUV light source] work reliably and get it fully integrated into the ASML system. Right now the light source and ASML’s system are pretty tightly coupled,” he added,
An ASML spokeswoman said the company has regular technical and management review meetings with Gigaphoton, and provided some perspective on past results from the two companies.
“In 2016, Gigaphoton announced it achieved 250W light output at 4% conversion efficiency and 119 hours of continuous operation at over 130W in testing. ASML achieved 170W three years ago under similar conditions,” the spokeswoman noted.
In addition, “as of the end of last year, ASML San Diego demonstrated 210W of source power at 12% dose margin and 250W feasibility was also proven without increase in protective Hydrogen flow. ASML also demonstrated 200W of source power at ASML Veldhoven, with dose in spec, a 2x improvement in one year,” she said.
“Customers have committed to inserting EUV and we are now moving to the next phase of industrialization,” she added.
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