In the 2012-3 timeframe, all the 193 nm immersion customers are either using double patterning to get ahead or staying behind with single patterning at 4x nm. If a sudden reduction of litho cost occurred in 2014-5, those who stayed behind and avoided the massive costs of double patterning would benefit more, somewhat unfairly.
The ebeam write time for imprint masks is virtually irrelevant. The ebeam written masks will be used for masters to make very cheap (~$5K) mask replicas using a specially designed imprint mask replication tool. A master can produce thousands and thousands of replicas, thus amortizing the master cost to virtually zero.
even with NA = 1.3, interferometric tools give you ~ 45 nm pitch with 193 nm light. Plus double patterning you get to 22 nm. That's a one generation tool. Let alone the lack of maturity and versatility of the interferometric tools.
Yes, it is happening in China where all the big firms are pumping research money. They make so much abroad and hate to send back to US to avoid paying taxes. Suddenly they have to spend that money offshore. That is where it is happening
As we unveil EE Times’ 2015 Silicon 60 list, journalist & Silicon 60 researcher Peter Clarke hosts a conversation on startups in the electronics industry. Panelists Dan Armbrust (investment firm Silicon Catalyst), Andrew Kau (venture capital firm Walden International), and Stan Boland (successful serial entrepreneur, former CEO of Neul, Icera) join in the live debate.