Intel Achieves Major Milestones in EUV Lithography Program

@ 2004/08/02
SANTA CLARA, Calif., Aug 2, 2004 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Intel Corporation today revealed two significant milestones in the development of extreme-ultraviolet (EUV) lithography, a technology for making future microprocessors. The company installed the world's first commercial EUV lithography tool and set up an EUV mask pilot line, marking the move of this technology out of research and into the development phase.

Lithography is the technology used to print circuits onto computer chips. In order to pack more and more transistors onto a chip, semiconductor manufacturers must print ever-smaller features. EUV lithography is being developed because current chip-printing technology is expected to reach its limits in the next few years. Intel is targeting this technology for high-volume manufacturing in 2009.

The EUV Micro Exposure Tool (MET) and the establishment of an EUV mask pilot line using the world's first EUV mask making tools will let Intel print circuits with feature sizes as small as 30 nanometers (nm), in preparation for the 15 nm resolution that will be required when EUV lithography goes into production. By contrast, the smallest feature size being printed today in Intel's manufacturing facilities measures 50 nm.

"We are making progress toward implementing EUV lithography technology in manufacturing with the 32 nm process in 2009," said Ken David, director of components research for Intel's Technology and Manufacturing Group. "This technology will help us continue to deliver the benefits of Moore's Law into the next decade."

Similar to a painter who needs a tiny brush to paint fine lines, the semiconductor industry must use increasingly shorter wavelengths of light to print smaller circuits on a chip. Today's optical lithography uses larger wavelengths that are not able to print the tiny features that will be required in the next few years as transistors and other circuit elements shrink in size. Since EUV lithography uses light with a wavelength of only 13.5 nm, versus the 193 nm light of today, it could become vital in the manufacturing of future chips, though some challenges still remain in the development of the technology.

Intel will use the MET to address two of the key challenges in the development of EUV lithography: the development of the photoresist, an important chemical mixture used in printing chips; and the impact of imperfections on the mask that includes the circuit pattern to be printed on the wafer. The MET will also allow Intel to focus on optimizing the variables that are required for printing the tiny features required in a high-volume manufacturing setting.

In addition to the installation of the MET, Intel successfully set up an EUV mask pilot line, the foundation needed for future mask production, which Intel intends to do internally. The pilot line builds in EUV-specific modules into Intel's existing in-house mask production process and includes the world's first commercial EUV mask making tools.

While the MET and EUV mask pilot line mark significant milestones, Intel continues to actively invest in and work with the industry on the development of the necessary infrastructure and additional tools to ensure that EUV lithography is ready for manufacturing in 2009. Strategic investments in research and development and joint development programs with such companies as Cymer, Media Lario and NaWoTec continue to move forward the development of EUV lithography.

Intel, the world's largest chip maker, is also a leading manufacturer of computer, networking and communications products. Additional information about Intel is available at

Comment from Sidney @ 2004/08/05
I did not do good in school with Physics; I like it a lot more after I started working. That's why I toyed with Ham Radio; Photography (the old darkroom sh_t) in toying with color temperature - degree in Kelvin........

Yes, you could alter the light temperature by toying with wave length alteration.

It's too deep for me - I'm lazy. It confuses the hell out of me when I worked for Allied Signal RF Division where most of the employees are PhD in Physics ...... we kept calling each other Doc.
Comment from Xploited Titan @ 2004/08/05
I know it isn't UV anymore, just trying to explain as simple as possible. I just took easy numbers. But I hope you got the idea. You have one source, you split it in two, and put it back together -> resulting wave has a wavelength 2x shorter.

Why? Quantum mechanics, no easy answer thus.

Did you know that, if you had a light bulb, you wrap it with a really thin film of silver, with little holes, just a bit shorter then the wavelength of the light shining out of the bulb, your bulb will shine several times more? The only thing you lose on it is color. White light turns to yellow.

lol, I'm just trying to explain quantum phenomena and gave 2 examples and I'm sure nobody understood
Comment from Sidney @ 2004/08/05
I still don't get your explanation; 50nm is at very very high frequency.

1. Short wave (UV-C): Extending from 180nm to 280nm, this wavelength is used for such applications as UV sterilization, chromatography, laboratory analysis, mineralogy, erasable programmable read-only-memory (EPROM) erasing, and photochemical reactions. Protective clothing and eyewear are needed with UV-C. Although high-energy UV-C has little penetrating power, it can cause severe eye and skin bums to people without protection.

2. Medium wave (UV-B): Occupying the 280nm to 320nm region, UV-B is used in DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) research, in artificial sunlamps for cosmetic tanning, for therapeutic purposes, and for vitamin production. With high-penetration power but less energy, UV-B can still seriously burn unprotected eyes and skin.

3. Long wave (UV-A): This low-energy wavelength, which covers the 320nm to 400nm range and is also known as black light or Wood's light, is the most useful for UV testing. UV-A is ideal for NDT and QC inspection, leak testing, UV curing, general fluorescence analysis, medical diagnosis, counterfeit check and currency detection, invisible signature verification, and invisible UV marking and displays. Long-wave UV requires no protective clothing. However, the use of UV-blocking spectacles or goggles is recommended. They make traces more apparent by increasing fluorescent contrast and eliminating blue-haze interference while they also protect eyes from irritation due to repeated UV exposure.
50nm is no longer in the UV spectrum table.

I did not get high grade in physics. The last time I dealt with this wavelength high frequency was using prism lens to shorten wave form.

Before this - was humming along with Ham Radio.
Comment from Xploited Titan @ 2004/08/05
Well, when very short UV waves are superposed with their waveform, they react by shortening their wavelength and in the end you got from 2 beams at 50nm 1 beam at 25nm.

It's not easy to explain.
Comment from Sidney @ 2004/08/04
Okay, you are talking about light wave forms instead of radio waves. But define "superpose".
Comment from Xploited Titan @ 2004/08/04
That's where you're mistaken... We're talking about UV waves. All waves don't act the same way.

I was surprised too, but that are the facts.
Comment from Sidney @ 2004/08/04
If both are 11 meter bands (about 28 khz); they remain 11 meter. I don't think they would become 5.5 meter.
Comment from Xploited Titan @ 2004/08/03
Just for info to those who wanna know: If you superpose two waves of the same wavelength, the resulting wave is 2 times shorter