DSA, virtually unheard of just a few years, has quickly emerged, becoming the hot technology at this year's SPIE. Last year, about 10 papers on DSA were presented; this year, there are more than twice that many on the SPIE agenda. The technology promises high resolution, good line width roughness and high pattern fidelity. It works in conjunction with existing optical lithography technology.
"The fact that we can implement DSA with standard lithography techniques and reach high resolution is quite compelling," said Raluca Tiron, R&D advanced lithography process engineer at CEA-Leti.
But manageable defect density with DSA has not been proven, according to Ben Rathsack, a strategic marketing and new business development manager at Tokyo Electron Inc. "The honest answer is: we don't know," Rathsack said in the panel discussion Tuesday.
EUV, which was initially targeted for production in 2005, had been more recently expected to be ready by the 22-nm node, which Intel Corp. is implementing now. Intel now wants to put EUV into production at the 10-nm node, starting in the second half of 2015. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. plans to insert EUV into volume manufacturing as soon as 2013.
But EUV has been delayed multiple times, most prominently by the inability to develop a light source with the power and reliability necessary to support throughput that would make EUV economically viable. Cymer Inc., the supplier of EUV light sources to No. 1 lithography vendor ASML Holding NV, and Ushio Inc., another potential supplier, are scheduled to report progress on their light source development at SPIE Thursday.
"I am incredibly impressed by the amount of progress EUV has made," said Chris Bevis, chief technologist of KLA-Tencor Corp. and principal investigator of the firm's REBL e-beam direct write system. "I am not counting on EUV to fail for e-beam direct write to succeed. One size might not fit all. EUV is way ahead of e-beam direct write right now, make no doubt about it."
The delays in EUV and the lingering sense that 193-nm immersion ArF lithography cannot be extended further without expensive multiple patterning—four or even five photomasks required where one used to be sufficient—have left many in the semiconductor industry feeling anxious and pessimistic about the industry's ability to continue reducing the cost per transistor of semiconductors enough to make continued scaling worthwhile.
"I don't sense a panic, but I do sense a concern that at some point the economics won't be as good as they once were," Kalk said. "If you reduce transistor cost by 20 percent per year, everyone's happy. If it's 10 percent, it's a question."
If only a small fraction of the chip layers get multiple patterning or double patterning, and most design rules on the SOC are very loose, the extra costs will be diluted. So the "worst case" scenario shouldn't be so bad.
A healthy mix of technologies will be required. Who will make the masks for Imprint technology or inspect and repair them 1x!!
Who will pattern the base structures for directed self assembly, repetitive patterns only??
It might work for memory cells, others?
Rapid prototyping and critical layers of the 1xnm and 2xnm nodes, E-Beam dirct write will be the solution.....no masks, easy to change, or simulate process changes, adapt depending on the flow changes across the wafer..
A lot of challenges ahead....smart device integration might be a better way to improve the performance of devices, not just scaling!!
I think the concern is that with the expense of the fancy litho tools, most fabs would only have 1 or 2 initially. Then when you have all of the critical layers needing to go through the tool multiple times, (active, poly, contact, metals and vias) you end up with wafers just queued behind the litho tool all_the_time - because you don't just have 1 lot at a time running in your fab.
Truly a shame that more 'professionals' don't look more seriously at e-beam lithography themselves, and not take the word of people in the photomask industry, who would directly be threatened if mask-less lithography came into popularity. E-beam litho has demonstrated nano-level capability for more than 20 years, with comparative overlay capability equaling the best aligners out there. Yes, throughput is an issue, but at 1/6 (or less) the cost of an good immersion stepper, you can buy several!!! Truth is that even the finest nano-imprint tool or EUV stepper will require masks, and they will only be available via e-beam lithography (as well as being ridiculously expensive and short lived). Direct write is a viable technology - today!
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