July 7, 2005 – Nikon Corp. has developed a stepper capable of fabricating semiconductor chips with a linewidth of 50nm or smaller, for launch late this year, according to JIJI and other press reports. The NSR-S609B, an ArF immersion scanner with an NA projection lens of 1.07, is targeted at mass production of 55nm and development of 45nm devices.
Several new innovations enable the system to achieve throughput of 130 wafers or more per hour. Nikon Local Fill Technology allows wafers to be processed at high scan speeds of 500mm/sec or faster with no water spots or backside wafer contamination. To increase throughput, improve accuracy, and enhance the long term stability of the NSR-S609B, Nikon developed a new Tandem Stage design that utilizes two stages with different functions to optimize the performance of the tool for immersion lithography.
Nikon will sell the new equipment for 3.5-4 billion (US$31.5-36 million), aiming for first-year sales of 10 units in Japan and overseas.