August 2, 2004 – Intel Corp. said it has finished installation of the world’s first pilot line for extreme-ultraviolet (EUV) lithography at its 300mm Hillsboro, OR, facility, in an effort to move the technology out of R&D and on track for 32nm IC production by 2009.
The integrated EUV process line includes an EUV microstepper from Exitech Ltd., linked to a specially configured track tool from Tokyo Electron Ltd. (TEL) and powered by a 1kHz pulsed xenon-gas pinch discharge source from Germany’s Xtreme Technologies. The entire system will be used to develop new photoresists and process steps for fabrication of 32nm-node devices using 13.5nm wavelength EUV exposures. Intel also said it has begun operation of an EUV mask pilot line in Santa Clara, CA, using new inspection tools and electron-beam repair systems.
Determined to drive progress in EUV lithography, either in addition or as an alternative to 193nm immersion, Intel has partnered with (and funded) several companies for EUV components, including light sources (Cymer Inc.), collector optics (Media Lario), and photomask blank inspection and e-beam repair tools (SEMATECH and German startup NaWoTec).