August 29, 2006

ASML Ships World's First EUV Tool

By: by Mark LaPedus, EE Times


SAN JOSE, Calif. - ASML Holding NV has shipped the world's first extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography tool to the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) of the University at Albany, New York.

The EUV tool is geared for R&D - not production. According to the University of Albany, ASML's so-called Alpha Demo Tool (ADT) is a "$65 million tool that represents a critical step in the development and commercialization of EUV technology."

Once integrated into CNSE's Albany NanoTech complex, the EUV ADT will support R&D programs at the previously-announced International Venture for Nanolithography (Invent), a global industry-university consortium. Inventwas created with support from the state of New York.

Invent members include Advanced Micro Devices, AMD, IBM, Micron Technology and Qimonda. Sony and Toshiba also participate in CNSE's EUV programs.

"This is a critical step in the development of EUV technology and readying it for eventual commercialization," said James Ryan, professor of nanoscience and vice president of technology at CNSE, in a statement.

"With the availability of EUV photomasks and the presence of a critical mass of nanoelectronics tool suppliers and computer chip manufacturers at CNSE's Albany NanoTech site, when coupled with ASML's earlier demonstration of operating wafer and reticle stages in a vacuum environment, integration of an alpha exposure tool at CNSE is a logical progression in preparing both the technology and the industry for adopting the EUV technology," he said.

ASML is supposedly developing another EUV demo tool, which will be shipped to IMEC, a European R&D organization.

ASML and Nikon Corp. have been working on EUV for several years. Recently, ASML of the Netherlands said the technology is alive and ready for 32-nm production.

But EUV champion Intel Corp., one of the few potential customers for an EUV tool, could push out the technology beyond that target node.