17 Jun 2002
ASML receives an order for EUV lithography equipment from the world's largest manufacturer of computer chips.
The tool will use 13.5 nm light to image chips with feature sizes below 45 nm. Current lithographic equipment employs excimer lasers to produce feature sizes at 180 nm.
Much development work is still required, however, and delivery of the tool is not expected until the second half of 2005.
In contrast to conventional lithography, which uses transmissive optics, the next-generation EUV equipment will use reflective optics and photomasks. The short-wavelength light also means that the photomask and wafer stages must be housed in a vacuum.
ASML vice president of marketing and technology Martin van den Brink says that the order from Intel is much more than the sale of a new tool: "It represents the culmination of many years of work on the selection, development and engineering of next-generation lithography," he said.
The EUV technology has been developed within the EUV Limited Liability Company, an organization of semiconductor manufacturers.
Michael Hatcher is technology editor of Opto & Laser Europe magazine.