The annual SPIE Advanced Lithography Conference kicked off last night with vendor sponsored networking events and such. SPIE is the international society for optics and photonics but this year SPIE Advanced Lithography is all about the highly anticipated EUV technology. Scotten Jones and I are at SPIE so expect more detailed blogs on the keynotes and sessions this week.
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The many BILLION dollar question of course is: When will EUV be ready for high volume manufacturing?
According to Intel EUV Manager Dr. Britt Turkot, at this point in time, EUV is not ready for HVM and may not be ready for 7nm. Britt has been with Intel for 20+ years and is a regular presenter at SPIE. In fact, Britt did a similar presentation last year which was nicely summarized by Scotten Jones: TSMC and Intel on the Long Road to EUV, by Scotten Jones, Published on 02-23-2016 05:00 AM. You can get a full list of Scotten's blogs HERE.
If you look point-for-point, according to Britt, not much has changed. As Scotten pointed out, three years ago the key issues were: Photoresist – line width roughness (LWR) and outgassin, Tools – source power and availability, and Reticle – killer defects and pellicles.
Photoresist technology continues to improve but no breakthroughs have been reported.
The current power roadmap is to have 250 watts in the 2016-2017 timeframe, >250 watts in the 2018-2019 timeframe. From what I have heard thus far, power in the field is closer to 100 watts than 200 so we still have a ways to go before HVM.
One of the most interesting points was particles and pellicles. According to Britt, particles are a much bigger problem than ASML has disclosed so pellicles will be required. I'm sure we will hear more about this during the conference but pellicles are a double edge sword. They do reduce the number of wafer defects caused by particles but they also draw source power which is already a key issue for throughput and machine availability.
EUV photomask inspection was also discussed. Intel has been pushing for an actinic based inspection tool and that push continues. The question of course is: Who is going to pay for it? My guess is that, as with most semiconductor manufacturing roadblocks, there will be an inspection workaround to get EUV into production before R&D dollars are spent on actinic.
As we already know TSMC has skipped EUV for 7nm but is planning on exercising EUV at 7nm in preparation for EUV at 5nm. At last year's SPIE, Intel, Samsung, and GLOBALFOUNDRIES still had EUV planned for 7nm but we have heard some waffling on the subject. It will be interesting to get another EUV update on 7nm and 5nm from the people who are actually using it.
Later today Intel will again keynote SPIE and present “EUV readiness for HVM” and Samsung will again present “Progress in EUV Lithography toward manufacturing”. Scotten will do thorough blogs on the conference as he has in the past. You can read Scotten’s very technical event related blogs HERE. If you are attending SPIE it would be a pleasure to meet you, absolutely.
Also read: An Steegen ISS Talk and Interview - Patterning Options for Advanced Nodes