September 05, 2006

EUV Litho Tool Ships To Two Institutes

By: by Electronic News


The Interuniversities Microelectronics Center (IMEC), a Belgium-based independent research facility, is claiming that it was officially first in line to receive the world's first extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography tool.

Lithography systems provider ASML Holding NV announced this week the shipment of an EUV Alpha Demo Tool (ADT) to both the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) of the State University of New York (SUNY) at Albany, N.Y., and IMEC. The company did not specify which institute first received the EUV tool.

In a statement released today, IMEC said it received its EUV machine nearly two weeks before the announcement, on Aug. 16, and that the machine has since been operating at full speed wafer runs with ASML researchers.

Regardless of specific timing, both CNSE and IMEC "have received these industry first, full field EUV systems," ASML said, adding that both institutions will use these R&D tools after installation to conduct ongoing research into this next generation lithography technology.

The $65 million EUV machine is now a cornerstone of IMEC's lithography program, which runs research on hyper-numerical aperture immersion lithography on ASML's XT 1700i machine, double-patterning immersion and EUV in parallel. EUV is the most likely candidate technology for the 32nm half-pitch node, ASML said.

"We are convinced that we will be able to bring EUV available for production at the 32nm half pitch node;" Luc Van den hove, VP of silicon process and device technology at IMEC, said in a statement.

Today's announcements are a continuation of ASML's good news as of late. Last month the company posted record Q2 sales and announced $45 million in progress in its stock buyback plan.