Sematech and DuPont forge test photomask cross-licensing agreement

Oct. 22-Austin and Round Rock, TX-Through a recently signed cross-licensing agreement, International Sematech (ISMT) and DuPont Photomasks have combined their intellectual property (IP) for producing test photomasks. The goal is to use test masks based on the combined IP to strengthen industry standards for photomask inspection and repair systems at the leading-edge technology nodes.

Under terms of the agreement, DuPont Photomasks will be the exclusive merchant photomask manufacturer of test photomasks based on ISMT’s DIRRT (Defect Inspection Reticle and Repair ReTicle) mask design and DuPont Photomasks’ patent-pending Universal Inspection Standard (UIS). ISMT and its member companies have the right to use both the DIRRT and UIS technologies internally. They may use DIRRT masks with UIS to evaluate the overall capability of photomask inspection and repair systems, and to aid in algorithm and process development. In return for the exclusive right to commercialize the DIRRT design, DuPont Photomasks has licensed the UIS technology to ISMT and its member companies.

According to Kurt Kimmel, ISMT’s mask program manager, ISMT presently uses DIRRT test masks with UIS to assess new tools down to the 100nm node. The deal also includes provisions for the future development and production of DIRRT test masks with UIS at the 65nm level and beyond.


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