IMEC to Install ASML EUV Pre-production Tool

IMEC reached agreement with ASML to install an ASML EUV pre-production tool in IMEC’s 300mm facility in 2010. This will enable IMEC and its partners to do research on 22nm CMOS on the world’s most advanced lithography system.

The installation of the pre-production tool follows ASML’s alpha-demo tool (ADT) at IMEC from which first high-resolution images were obtained with a Sn source (Philips Extreme UV) end of September. World first horizontal and vertical 35nm and 40nm lines and spaces in 100nm MET-2D resist (Rohm & Haas) at 18mJ/cm2 were successfully exposed with EUV using a Sn source. Whereas the goal of the ADT is to pioneer the technology, demonstrate feasibility and build the infrastructure, the pre-production tool will exhibit considerably higher source power and optimized optics. This will enable full-scale development of EUV technology up to production worthy standards.

“These results mark a cornerstone in the development of EUV lithography. They represent the first real data, building confidence for EUV to be a viable technology for 32nm half pitch lithography and below,” said Luc Van den hove, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at IMEC. “We are very pleased that our strategic partnership with ASML continues more than ever with the installation of one of the early EUV pre-production tools. Such advanced tools and successful collaboration are indispensable assets for doing advanced research with the world’s leading memory suppliers, logic IDMs and foundries.”

“IMEC’s ability to help semiconductor companies explore new technologies has made it a trusted partner for the industry. IMEC’s order for one of our production-worthy EUV lithography systems is another sign how semiconductor manufacturers are gearing up to use EUV for ever-smaller features on chips,” said Martin van den Brink, executive vice president of marketing and technology at ASML. “Our roadmap shows that ASML’s EUV systems have the potential to expose more than 100 wafers per hour, which is well above the minimum required for cost effective EUV chip manufacturing.”

About ASML
ASML is the world’s leading provider of lithography systems for the semiconductor industry, manufacturing complex machines that are critical to the production of integrated circuits or chips. Headquartered in Veldhoven, the Netherlands, ASML is traded on Euronext Amsterdam and NASDAQ under the symbol ASML.

About IMEC
IMEC is a world-leading independent research center in nanoelectronics and nanotechnology. Its research focuses on the next generations of chips and systems, and on the enabling technologies for ambient intelligence. IMEC’s research bridges the gap between fundamental research at universities and technology development in industry. Its unique balance of processing and system know-how, intellectual property portfolio, state-of-the-art infrastructure and its strong network of companies, universities and research institutes worldwide position IMEC as a key partner for shaping technologies for future systems. IMEC vzw is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium, has a sister company in the Netherlands, IMEC-NL, concentrating on wireless autonomous transducer solutions, and has representatives in the US, China and Japan. Its staff of more than 1500 people includes more than 500 industrial residents and guest researchers. In 2006, its revenue (P&L) was EUR 227 million.