Sunday, March 6, 2016

ASML and IMEC EUV Progress at SPIE Advanced Lithography Conference 2016

EUV is making progress and to several reports it may be ready for 7nm. Here you can find a report in SemiWiki by Scotten Jones on "ASML and IMEC EUV Progress" from the recent SPIE conference (21-25 February 2016, San Jose, USA). According to the report, ASML has made clear progress in throughput:
  • ASML has 8 NXE 3300 systems in the field running at ~55wph. 
  • ASML has shipped NXE3350B systems with ~125wph performance. 
  • The NXE3400B will ship this year and is expected to be the production workhorse running at ~145wph.

In another paper "Comparison of EUV and 193i based patterning for advanced node integration" Imec compared EUV to current ArFi or 193ilithography for three cases showing a cost comparasion resulting in a win for EUV : LE3 > SADP > EUV.

Abstract: "In this work we compare the pattering integrity results of product like structures using EUV- and 193i-Lithography. Traditional 193i based lithography requires multiple litho-etch (LE) or pitch doubling techniques to reach sub resolution pitch. These however add additional films and steps in the pattering process, and introduces CD and overly variability. EUV offers the possibility of single print for advanced nodes with a reduced process flow. However EUV introduces pattering selectivity and uniformity challenges. The process flows, complexity and pattering results will be presented for EUV single exposure, 193i multiple Litho Etch (LE3), and 193i Spacer Assisted Double Pattering (SADP+Keep)."

According to Scotten Jones the detailed comparison was for these 3 cases:
  1. The litho-etch-litho-etch-litho-etch (LE3) process prints 42nm lines with 144nm pitch and then shrinks them with a total of 27 steps. 
  2. The SADP process creates 48nm lines on a 96nm pitch and then shrinks them with a total of 18 steps. 
  3. EUV creates 24nm lines in an 8 step process. 
"In summary EUV had the best overall performance, SADP + block was second best and LE3 the worst. The biggest issue for EUV was LER and he thinks that can be improved." concluded Scotten Jones

Too read further about SPIE I asloo recommend this piece by Ed Korczynski at Solid State Technology looking at many additional papers presented at SPIE 2016:

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