By Jeff Dorsch, contributing editor
Extreme-ultraviolet lithography systems will be available to pattern critical layers of semiconductors at the 10-nanometer process node, and EUV will completely take over from 193nm immersion lithography equipment at 7nm, according to Martin van den Brink, president and chief technology officer of ASML Holding.
Giving the keynote presentation Tuesday at the SPIE Photomask Technology conference in Monterey, Calif., Martin offered a lengthy update on his company’s progress with EUV technology.
Sources for the next-generation lithography systems are now able to produce 77 watts of power, and ASML is shooting for 81W by the end of 2014, Martin said.
The power figure is significant since it indicates how many wafers the litho system can process, a key milestone in EUV’s progress toward becoming a volume manufacturing technology. With an 80W power source, ASML’s EUV systems could turn out 800 wafers a day, he noted.
The goal is to get to 1,000 wafers per day. ASML has lately taken to specifying throughput rates in daily production, not wafers per hour, since many wafer fabs are running nearly all the time at present.
ASML’s overarching goal is providing “affordable scaling,” Martin asserted, through what he called “holistic lithography.” This involves both immersion litho scanners and EUV machines, he said.
Martin offered a product roadmap over the next four years, concluding with manufacturing of semiconductors with 7nm features in 2018.
The ASML president acknowledged that the development of EUV has been halting over the years, while asserting that his company has made “major progress” with EUV. He said the EUV program represented “a grinding project, going on for 10 years.”
For all of EUV’s complications and travails, “nothing is impossible,” Martin told a packed auditorium at the Monterey Conference Center.
With many producers of photomasks in attendance at the conference, Martin promised, “We are not planning to make a significant change in mask infrastructure” for EUV. He added, “What you are investing today will be useful next year, and the year after that.”