Kalk: No litho option closed for 16nm

Franklin Kalk, CTO at Toppan Photomasks, tells SST that the industry shouldn’t close off any lithography options until there is certainty that a cost-effective solution is available with which everyone can live. He also discusses the defectivity management needs for EUV and imprint lithography. With respect to EUV readiness, Kalk thinks that it probably won’t be ready for 16nm logic, and that the industry will still be using double-patterning at that node.

Addressing the three current post-32nm lithography prospects, Kalk summarized thusly:

  • Immersion with double-patterning. “Pretty much business as usual.” Good, clever engineering and hard work “will take care of it,” he said.
  • EUV. Defect management is still a big issue, with three mask tools still undeveloped: actinic inspection for masks, blanks, and defect review. “Those still need funding, and have to be developed, and they’re probably 3-5 years away,” he said.
  • Imprint. This too has issues with defect management, starting with determining the defect management strategy and tool — but also the speed and accuracy of the writer, he noted.

    What’s been divined in the past six months is that EUV won’t be ready for the 22nm logic node, and maybe not 16nm either (imprint might be ready by then perhaps for nonvolatile memory). But for now, until there’s a cost-effective solution that’s absolutely sure, all options should be on the table.


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