nanoelectronics research institute IMEC thinks that it will have the first extreme ultra-violet lithography system able to create 450-mm diameter wafers ready by 2016.
Luc van den Hove, president and CEO of IMEC told a press conference that he has a very clear roadmap to develop the technology. According to EE Times which was at the shin-dig, the project starts in 2012 with 450-mm wafer tool and metrology testing, moving on to 450-mm process development between about 2013 and 2016 and then into advanced production starting in about 2016.
Van den Hove said that a transition to the technology was extremely likely now that the Global 450 Consortium between five leading chip companies including Intel, IBM, Samsung, TSMC and Globalfoundries are building their plant in New York state. Van den Hove said for IMEC to continue to be bleeding edge it has to make a transition to 450-mm, 18-inch wafers in the next few years. He pointed out that it was really important to get the timing right because if you come out too early then it would cost too much.
Early work up to about 2015 can be done in IMEC's present 300-mm wafer fab which was deliberately built to be 450-mm compatible. This research would tackle early metrology and process elements, wafer characterisations of stain, uniformity and performance, he said. The next stage would be looking at how to hook up machines in a full-flow for process and device development ready for production, Van den Hove added.
Van den Hove a full-flow phase would require its own clean room and that this would use the existing pilot wafer fab on the corner of IMEC's Leuven site. IMEC is currently working out the best way of building an extension to that.