Gigaphoton Inc., a major lithography light source manufacturer, announced today that it has completed development of an electricity-reduction technology for its flagship “GT Series” of argon fluoride (ArF) immersion lasers used for semiconductor lithography processing.
Based on the continuous evolution of its leading-edge “Green Innovations” environmental technologies, Gigaphoton is unveiling its “eGRYCOS (e-GIGAPHOTON Recycle Chamber Operation System)” product, which enhances laser efficiency and reduces electricity consumption by 15 percent.
The semiconductor industry has been growing faster than other sectors, and one of the key drivers is the evolving improvements in manufacturing equipment. Because of their use as light sources in leading-edge lithography applications, ArF immersion lasers require increased output power to support new enhancements of the scanners. Current high-volume production lasers are running at 60 W output, but the latest requirement has reached output of 120 W. As industry demand for higher power grows, the electricity that lasers consume will continue to increase as well.
Gigaphoton has addressed this issue through its EcoPhoton program, and has continued to work on developing a highly efficient laser chamber design. In a laser chamber, excimer gas flows between two electrodes; as the flow speed increases, the discharge becomes more stable, resulting in better laser performance. Gigaphoton’s redesigned chamber features a hydro-dynamically optimized gas flow channel shape, and enables the same speed of gas flow while consuming less electricity. In addition, the newly designed pre-ionization process enables uniform distribution of ions in the main discharge region, providing laser discharge that is 1.2 times more efficient (compared with existing products). As a result, “eGRYCOS” reduces electricity consumption by 15 percent (compared with existing products) without compromising laser performance.
“Gigaphoton has consistently focused on green innovations to support environmentally conscious ‘green fabs’,” said Hitoshi Tomaru, President and CEO of Gigaphoton Inc. “The ‘eGRYCOS’ product is an example of the success of our EcoPhoton program. We will continue to provide our global customers with innovative technologies that enable increased laser performance with lower energy consumption to meet the demands of today’s leading-edge lithography applications.”
About the EcoPhoton™ Program
The EcoPhoton™ program is a roadmap started in 2003 to implement Green Innovations; it focuses on detailed analyses of three key cost-of-ownership (CoO) metrics: cost of consumables (CoC), cost of downtime (CoD), and cost of environment (CoE). The program aims at achieving continuous reduction of these costs by developing innovative green technologies.