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ASML, TEL join hands on advanced litho tools

Posted: 07 Dec 2006     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:manufacturing tools  lithography  45nm  Tokyo Electron  ASML Holding NV 

Tokyo Electron Ltd (TEL) and ASML Holding NV are joining forces to develop next generation R&D and manufacturing tools.

As a first step, the companies will optimise equipment performance for R&D and high-volume production for 45nm and future technology node processes.

Both companies have ex exchanged equipment and shared evaluation facilities since 2004 with the goals of developing next generation technologies and improving litho cluster productivity. However, the deal takes their relationship much further with the intention to evaluate their most advanced tools and engage in long-term joint development program.

TEL will deliver the its Clean Track Lithius resist coater/developer to ASML at its Veldhoven facility in the Netherlands. It will be paired with ASML's Twinscan XT:1900i for joint development, which is scheduled to start in early 2007. The initial target is to work on reducing defects and improving critical dimension uniformity for 45nm node mass production immersion ArF processes. The companies will collaborate on litho cluster optimisation to achieve throughputs of 180 wafers per hour and higher.

The joint effort will also include double patterning process research and development, an application being considered as a candidate for next generation patterning technology.

"Current lithography technologies, such as immersion and double patterning require greater synergy between scanner and track systems than ever before," said Martin van den Brink, EVP marketing and technology, ASML.

"Technological innovation has made the collaborative efforts between exposure equipment manufacturers and coater/developer manufacturers essential for achieving success in our industry," said Hikaru Ito, Clean Track business unit general manager at TEL in a statement.

- John Walko
EE Times Europe

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