(Nikkei BP Group)
(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)
| Nikon, IBM to Co-Develop Equipment for 0.1-Micron Chip
February 2, 1999 (TOKYO) -- Nikon Corp. and IBM Corp. will co-develop
a lithography system to fabricate microchips with geometries of 0.1-micron
meters or less.
|The equipment to be jointly developed is an electron beam stepper. This
should be one of the promising lithography technologies to come along
with second-generation lithography technologies and an ArF excimer laser
stepper. They aim to develop a practical e-beam stepper for geometries
of around 0.1-micron meter.
Japanese companies such as Nikon and Canon Inc. have a traditional strength
in producing ordinary lithography systems, but when it comes to second-generation
lithography systems using a KrF excimer laser stepper, ASM Lithography
(ASML) of The Netherlands is taking a lead to expand its share in the
ASML announced on Jan. 25 that in collaboration with Lucent Technologies
Inc. and Applied Materials Inc. (AMAT) in the United States, the company
would develop a lithography system for mass production based on e-beam
lithography technology (SCALPEL) developed by Lucent Technologies.
Nikon and IBM have been conducting joint basic research in the electron
optics system, and last November they succeeded in fabricating a pattern
with a line/space of 0.08-micron meters.
The two companies will develop an e-beam stepper by assembling device
techniques such as the stage and a vacuum system from Nikon and electron
optics system from IBM. Nikon is to market test equipment in 2003. The
total expenditures for this development are estimated to be 5-10 billion
yen (US$4.3-8.6 million) by 2003.
The basic technique with which Nikon and IBM will develop a lithography
system is similar to Lucent's SCALPEL.
Nikon officials said, however, that they could improve the throughput
because they use a lens projection method with a reticle that enables
the exposed area at one shot to be made larger than the ordinary method
of e-beam direct writing.
The exposed area at one shot is 1mm square on the reticle and 0.25mm
square on the wafer. The throughput is 40 pieces per hour for a 200mm
wafer and 20 pieces per hour for a 300mm wafer. It is different from
SCALPEL in that they use a larger e-beam scan width of 5mm and a larger
current of 25 micron ampere on the wafer.
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