Advanced semiconductor manufacturers, Intel, Globalfoundries, Samsung Electronics and TSMC have joined SEMATECH’s EUVL Mask Infrastructure partnership program, specifically to pursue what was described as an ‘ambitious metrology program’ to enable defect-free EUVL masks for high-volume manufacturing. Defect-free masks and the ability of metrology systems to detect the defects has been a major problem facing the adoption of EUV lithography. A key metrology equipment supplier in the project is Carl Zeiss.
EMI is administered by SEMATECH’s Lithography Program, based at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) of the University at Albany.
“SEMATECH’s EMI partnership is establishing a new paradigm for leading-edge equipment development by linking top device and equipment manufacturers,” said Dan Armbrust, president and CEO of SEMATECH. “These new partners represent a significant achievement for the EMI initiative, and illustrate our continuing commitment to develop and deliver the infrastructure required for this critical next-generation technology.”
“The ‘AIMS’ system is the largest semiconductor photomask review tool development ever undertaken and represents another significant step toward readiness for commercialization of EUV for high-volume-manufacturing,” said John Warlaumont, vice president of Advanced Technologies, SEMATECH. “Carl Zeiss is a valued partner of SEMATECH, given their leadership in providing state-of-the-art tool components and system solutions that are manufacturing friendly. We are very pleased to partner with Carl Zeiss on driving the development of a high-resolution EUV defect review tool that will collectively support the needs of the semiconductor industry and EUV stakeholders.”
“The development of an actinic aerial image metrology system, in collaboration with SEMATECH, enables an important piece of the infrastructure to enable defect free masks and we are committed to an aggressive time schedule for the development and commercialization”, said Dr. Oliver Kienzle, Managing Director of Carl Zeiss SMT’s Semiconductor Metrology Systems Division (SMS).
“The AIMS EUV technology represents an important part of our company’s mission to enable the lithography roadmap by closing a critical gap in the infrastructure and to support the growing industry momentum for EUV lithography”, added Winfried Kaiser, Carl Zeiss Fellow and Senior Vice President Product Strategy of Carl Zeiss SMT. Wolfgang Harnisch, responsible for New Business Development at Carl Zeiss SMS and leading the C&F study for this project, concluded: “AIMS™ EUV is the consistent next step in the AIMS™ technology evolution along the litho roadmap. We were working towards this aim for a long time and are now very pleased about the commitment of four key semiconductor manufacturers.”
To fill an industry need considered too costly for individual companies to develop independently, SEMATECH launched EMI in 2010 to address key infrastructure gaps for EUV in the area of mask metrology, by funding development of critical metrology tools.