February 27, 2007 – Nikon Corp. and European R&D microelectronics research center CEA-Leti say they have formed a joint development program to develop optical lithography technologies at the 32nm node, including double exposure and double patterning. Work will be performed at CEA-Leti’s Nanotec 300 research facility, utilizing a Nikon scanner.
Double patterning, added to the ITRS Roadmap in 2006, is seen as a potential alternative to immersion and EUV lithography, which may not be fully production-ready in time for use in volume chip manufacturing utilizing 32nm process technologies, the companies indicated in a statement.
“DE/DP is the main solution foreseen for the 32nm node, bridging the gap between immersion and EUV, but there are still a lot of issues that need to be addressed on equipment, process, mask and CAD,” said Olivier Demolliens, head of the Nanotec Division at CEA-Leti. “Together with Nikon equipment and expertise, we have built a consortium that will address all these developments.”
“Our collaboration with Leti enables us to leverage their process expertise and our lithography knowledge to develop the best exposure tools and processes for this challenging technology,” added Toshikazu Umatate, executive officer for Nikon Precision Equipment Co.