SPIE takeaway: Updated litho shipments, and EUV-delay misinterpretations

March 2, 2010 – Barclays Capital’s CJ Muse came away from SPIE with the message that litho demand is strong, with a "heightened focus on EUV" due to increased costs associated with double patterning.

Muse’s new projections for lithography tool unit shipments: 211 units (up from 202 units) — about half of those (105) being immersion tools, up from 100, with three more headed to Samsung, plus one to Intel and another to Winbond. "The game in town still remains immersion," he writes in a research note.

Another interesting update from SPIE is "subdued" demand for KrF tools — Muse sees only Intel, SEC, and TSM placing volume orders, and he expects three extra shipments this year.

Analyzing the competition for Intel’s 22nm node, Muse says his checks show ASML "has been designed into at least two layers," which would translate roughly to around 40% share, vs. 60% share for Nikon.

Looking at lasers, Muse projects Cymer unit shipments to be flat this year at 69 units, with 63% share in immersion; that’s down from 67% a year ago, though he suggests extra business at Intel could bring that number up slightly.

The debate over EUV continues, Muse says. Self-aligned double patterning (SADP) "is a proven technology" while EUV "is still in development with critical issues such as source, resist, and mask." And immersion with SADP is said to be extendible to 16nm using pitch-splitting and line-cutting; and Intel has suggested it could push back its timetable for EUV from the 16nm node to 11nm.

That perceived delay in EUV is the wrong interpretation, however, Muse asserts. Intel’s half-pitch progression "is well behind NAND and DRAM, so they can afford to delay," he writes. And while NAND’s more 1D nature lends itself better to SADP, DRAM "uses far more critical layers, and here is where we expect the industry to drive adoption of EUV," he writes. Plus with ASML still saying EUV tools will be ready for volume production in 2012, "the debate will continue."


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