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ASML, Imec unveil Advanced Patterning Centre

Posted: 09 Oct 2013     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:patterning infrastructure  clean room  sub-10nm technologies 

ASML and Imec have launched the Advanced Patterning Centre that will be located at the Imec campus in Leuven and is expected to grow to close to 100 engineers in the next couple of years. According to the organisations, the facility combines their complementary expertise, engineering capabilities and patterning infrastructure to allow the chip industry to move towards single digit nanometre dimensions.

To guarantee critical dimension uniformity and overlay control, soon to be measured in fractions of one nanometre, Imec and ASML will collaborate to investigate the practical interaction between all the different steps in the chip patterning process. The Advanced Patterning Centre will use actual devices to analyse and optimise process steps as well as materials and device architecture choices, while applying integrated metrology.

Imec will bring to the partnership what it boasts as its world leading clean room infrastructure (full 300mm pilot line with extension to 450mm) through which it supports a unique partner network of material and equipment suppliers, IDMs, foundries and fabless companies.

ASML will support the Advanced Patterning Centre by making available its most advanced scanners, metrology systems and holistic lithography solutions, and by using the Centre's resources to optimise its offerings for the fab environment.

"ASML and Imec have been partners for almost as long as both organisations exist, and while we have both benefited from this relationship, I believe the biggest beneficiary has been the chip industry which has gained faster access to breakthrough technology. I'm extremely confident that this continued investment in our joint capabilities will further accelerate technology development and new device introductions," said Martin van den Brink, president and CTO at ASML.

"In order to stay ahead in today's fast-evolving and equipment-intensive semiconductor business, it is critical that the entire semiconductor eco system has insight and access to state-of-the-art technology," said Luc Van den hove, president and CEO at Imec. "By bringing our collaboration to the next level, we will be able to expand our knowledge base more quickly and drive lithography advancements. In this way the global partner network of both companies will have access to the most advanced patterning processes for sub-10nm technologies. This is crucial to better address future scaling and infrastructure challenges."

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