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Blog Review October 21 2013

The readiness of EUV lithography is later than hoped, but appears to be on time for insertion into the 10nm node, which is slated to go into production in late 2015/early 2016. “I’m very convinced that very soon EUV will be ready to enter manufacturing,” said Luc Van den hove, president and CEO of imec, as reported by Pete Singer.

In an earlier blog, Veeco’s Tim Pratt, Senior Director, Marketing, said that indeed the next major roadblock to progress in the ongoing push to develop EUV lithography for volume production is the availability of defect-free mask blanks. He said that the tools in place today are not capable of producing mask blanks with the kind of yield necessary to support a ramp in EUV.

Meanwhile, results from early work into directed self-assembly (DSA) is quite promising. DSA could be used in conjunction with EUV for the 7nm node, scheduled to go into production in the 2017/2018 timeframe. Work at imec has shown that the polymers, with a hard mask on top, are robust enough to enable the etching of the patterns into silicon. “That’s fairly new data and very promising,” said An Steegen, senior vice president of process technology at imec.

EUV readiness also been the focus of several blogs by Vivek Bakshi. Earlier this year, he predicted that 50 W sources will be ready and working in NXE3300B sometime in 2014, corresponding to 43 WPH throughput. 100 W sources will be ready in 2015 or 2016 corresponding to 73 WPH. “The readiness of 250 W EUV sources cannot be safely predicted, unless we see 100 W sources ready and have identified the issues to ensure that they are no showstoppers. I am not convinced that present approaches can get to 500 W sources. It is easy to put them on roadmaps, but delivering them is another question,” he said.

Intel is far ahead of anyone else when it comes to putting 14nm devices into production. However, even Intel finds it challenging. Speaking on a quarterly call with analysts, newly elected CEO Brian Krzanich said 14nm rollout was “about a quarter behind our projections.” He said defects were the problem. “As a result, we are now planning to begin production in the first quarter of next year,” as Pete Singer reported.

Intel already has 3D finFETs in production, and  FinFETs will likely become the logic technology of choice for the upcoming generations, with high mobility channels coming into play for the 7 and 5nm generation (2017 and 2019).

Brian Krzanich also said that Intel remained committed to the transition to 450mm wafers, saying: “We have not changed our timing. We are still targeting the second, latter half of this decade.” At Semicon Europa week, Paul Farrar, general manager of G450C, provided an update on the consortium’s progress in demonstrating 450mm process capability. He said 25 tools will be installed in the Albany cleanroom by the end of 2013, progress has been made on notchless wafers with a 1.5mm edge exclusion zone, they have seen significant progress in wafer quality, and automation and wafer carriers are working.

Phil Garrou reports on developments from Semicon Taiwan 2013 of interest to the IC packaging community. The Market Trends Forum chaired by Dr. Burn Lin of TSMC, included a report on DRAM Status (continued consolidation) by Charlie Chan of Morgan Stanley; Nicolas Gaudois Managing Director of UBS Investment Research looked at the “The End of the High End Smartphones Run,” and Dan Tracy of SEMI provided the Packaging Materials Outlook.

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4 Responses to “Blog Review October 21 2013”

  1. Diogenes Cicero Says:

    1. “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” — Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943.
    2. “This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.” — Western Union internal memo, 1876.
    3. “Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?” — H. M. Warner, Warner Brothers, 1927.
    4. “With over 50 foreign cars already on sale here, the Japanese auto industry isn’t likely to carve out a big slice of the U.S. market.” — Business Week, August 2, 1968.
    5. “The bomb will never go off. I speak as an expert in explosives.” — Admiral William Leahy, U.S. Atomic Bomb Project.
    6.”Everything that can be invented has been invented.” — Attributed to Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. Office of Patents, 1899
    7.“I’m very convinced that very soon EUV will be ready to enter manufacturing,” said Luc Van den hove, president and CEO of imec

  2. Ian Dedic Says:

    For how many years now has EUV status been “ready for production in a few years”?

    5? 10? 15? Answers on a postcard…

  3. psinger Says:

    X-ray lithography, the precursor to EUV (EUV is “soft” or short wavelength X-ray, right?) development started in the 1970s. One notable milestone was the construction of a synchrotron ring at NTT called the Super-ALIS, a superconducting compact storage ring dedicated to x-ray litho, designed to be housed in the basement of a fab. It was operational in the late 1980s and early ’90s. Not sure what happened to it. That gave way to the single point X-ray source (remember Micronix?). Here’s quote by Sam Harrell, when interviewed by Craig Addision in 2004: “X-ray lithography was not successful and it was not successful because you couldn’t make good enough masks to get high yield with it. The printing side of the thing was successful but the mask technology was not. Optical lithography improved way beyond what the physicists had said in earlier times. And so the necessity of going to x-ray lithography to solve the problems was significantly diminished. So the risk to the customer was more easily accomplished by staying with the extension of the optical technology, which is what happened. You got the institute of the stepper, which allowed the mass technology for optical technology to be solved by a four to one reduction instead of one to one. So that got easier. And that was the work horse of the industry for a number of years. And so we closed it. We closed it I think about 1986.”

    Now the time has finally come for X-ray turned EUV. I can’t imagine a “compact” synchrotron ring is needed for enough source power, but if that’s what it takes… funny the masks are still a problem though!

  4. Knows a bit of EUV Says:

    Although one could categorize EUV (13.5nm lambda) as “soft x-ray” but it is much differ from the x-ray source one can get from synchrotron source. It has refractivity (7%) on SiMo multilayer, thus all refractive (more importantly 4x reduction) projection optics can be built…. which is much different than 70s and 80s 1x proximity system (one of problem for mask manufacturability). Also the EUV source selected is not synchrotron … but LPP (Laser Produced Plasma) Sn (Tin) source. Mask making is still a challenge but for much different reasons (all refractive, inspectability, rack of pellicle… etc.).

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