ALBANY, N.Y. (September 19, 2012) - SEMATECH announced today that SK hynix, a world-leading memory supplier offering dynamic random access memory chips (DRAMs) and flash memory chips, has joined SEMATECH’s EUVL Mask Infrastructure (EMI) Partnership to develop critical metrology tools for reviewing defects in advanced masks needed for extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUVL).
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. The EMI Partnership facilitates consensus building among the EMI partners, providing crucial data, insightful analysis and a discussion forum for reaching conclusive agreements.
“Cooperation across the industry in order to meet the stringent requirements of the embedded industry is critical for semiconductor manufacturers,” said Sungjoo Hong, senior vice president and head of the R&D Division of SK hynix. “By joining SEMATECH’s EMI Partnership and collaborating with industry-leading partners, we expect to play a key role in accelerating the commercialization of EUV technology by supporting the development of critical metrology tools to enable defect-free masks.”
“EUV mask defectivity is one of the single greatest challenges to EUV readiness, but finding the defects requires metrology tools that do not yet exist,” said Stefan Wurm, director of Lithography at SEMATECH. “We are excited by this opportunity to partner with a leading memory maker like SK hynix. With such partnerships, SEMATECH is continuing our commitment to develop and deliver the infrastructure required for this critical next-generation technology.”
SEMATECH and Carl Zeiss are developing and plan to manufacture the industry’s first-ever actinic aerial image metrology (AIMS™) EUV system, targeted for EUVL volume production. The AIMS™ EUV platform represents a critical tool for the development and manufacturing of defect-free EUVL masks. The tool by design supports the 16 nm half-pitch (HP) technology node requirements and will extend to future semiconductor manufacturing nodes. A first production-worthy version of the platform is scheduled for mid-2014.
EMI is administered by SEMATECH’s Lithography program based at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) of the University at Albany. EMI is open to mask and chip-makers, mask blank suppliers, other consortia and regional governments.