By Paula Doe, Contributing Editor, WaferNews
Key issues under discussion for the 2005 edition of the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors include the introduction of 450mm wafers, the problem of improving critical dimension control, and clearer definitions for half pitch to keep everybody honest, said regional committee chairmen in a press conference at the recent SEMICON Europa.
“We’re discussing 450mm extensively,” said Hidemi Ishiuchi, JEITA-JSIA, International Roadmap Committee (IRC) Japan chair. “Wafer manufacturers are already behind schedule for introduction in 2011, so we’re discussing if the schedule is reasonable.”
Asked if it were likely that any consensus would be reached by the December publication date for the 2005 version of the Roadmap, he said the committee at least planned to present its opinion then. One possibility might be to supplement the Roadmap with a white paper discussing issues such as the economics of the larger wafers and a proposed critical path.
Another major issue remains how to get critical dimension (CD) control of better than 4nm at 3. “There are still no known solutions,” explained Infineon’s Wolfgang Arden, IRC Europe. “CD control will remain red for the present and the future.” He noted that printed gate length would be re-evaluated in 2005. One possibility would be to allow the gates to be a little bigger, but increase the trimming of the resist.
Mart Graef, Philips, IRC Europe chair, noted that consumer markets and new technologies are changing packaging requirements, so the 2005 Roadmap would begin to address requirements for packaging of MEMS, optoelectronics, and bio-chips.
The next version of the Roadmap also will attempt to clarify the definitions of metal and poly half-pitch, in hopes of bringing all chipmakers back into line with consistent labeling of their device geometries.
Ishiuchi also noted that because the industry was still not meeting the tolerances for back-surface particle counts added in the 2004 update, those would likely be adjusted in the 2005 version.
Committee members said they needed more people from defect-inspection companies to get involved in the surface conditioning discussions.