Cymer, Inc., the world's leading supplier of light sources used in semiconductor lithography, announced today the company has installed its XLR 500i light source at IMEC, a leading research center which brings together world-leading IC manufacturers, foundries and suppliers to develop solutions for future semiconductor technology scaling. IMEC examines leading edge technology, helping members narrow down technology choices early in the development cycle. The XLR 500i is the world's first argon fluoride (ArF) laser light source for 45nm production immersion photolithography and utilizes a new laser architecture, which delivers a 1.5X improvement in pulse energy stability for improved dose control, increasing yield and productivity and providing a significant reduction in cost of ownership compared to previous generation ArF products.
The XLR system’s innovative Recirculating Ring Technology extends the lifetime of key modules compared to the XLA series lasers, resulting in a 20 percent reduction in operating costs. The improved pulse energy stability enables the use of fewer pulses per exposure, which can further reduce operating costs and allow higher scanner throughput.
“Cymer has a long history of bringing advanced systems to the market. Light sources with improved performance are required for 45nm production and 32nm process development. We are looking forward to working with Cymer to demonstrate the benefits to our core chipmaker partners that the XLR light source will offer,” said Kurt Ronse, Program Director Advanced Lithography at IMEC.
Leading the industry in providing high-performance light sources for advanced, deep ultraviolet (DUV) immersion applications, Cymer first introduced the XLR system in July 2006. With more than 500 systems shipped to date, the XL product family has been adopted by the industry as the standard light source for next-generation ArF lithography. The XLR 500i is also upgradeable to a 90W configuration – the XLR 600i –which enables extendibility of volume immersion and double patterning lithography at the 32nm node and beyond with significant advances in technology for improved performance stability and availability at lower operating costs.
"This installation further validates the acceptance of our XLR technology by chipmakers and the industry as a whole," said Ed Brown, president and chief operating officer at Cymer. "With the help of IMEC we hope to continue to advance lithography technology and address ways that light sources can contribute to performance and productivity advancements. As IMEC provides early learning and pre-competitive research and development for chipmaker members, Cymer will have the opportunity to demonstrate the XLR technology benefits to its key semiconductor partners."