A program managed by the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory has received a boost from the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) under the Circuit Analysis Tool (CAT) program, by awarding US-based Carl Zeiss NTS a US$22.6 million contract to develop certain nano-manufacturing and imaging applications based on its ‘ORION’ Gas Field Ion Source (GFIS) technology.
The CAT program is geared towards addressing challenges in nano-manufacturing and imaging pertaining to circuit analysis for which existing techniques have no clear evolutionary path to the 22nm node and beyond.
“IARPA has clearly identified key challenges where the development of critical analytical instrumentation has not kept pace with the rapid progress in the design and processing of nanostructures,” said Dan McGee, president of Carl Zeiss NTS LLC. “Carl Zeiss’ position as a leader and innovator in charged particle beam technologies is affirmed by this contract award and we look forward to solving these challenges for IARPA and the global nano-manufacturing industry at large.”
The nano-manufacturing program, under CAT is focused on the modification of the electrical behaviour of an IC through the use of precise deposition and removal techniques that can cut and/or create new connections.