ASML Ships 1,000th KrF lithography system; milestone confirms KrF leadership in productivity and system extendibility

Microelectronics International

ISSN: 1356-5362

Article publication date: 25 July 2008



(2008), "ASML Ships 1,000th KrF lithography system; milestone confirms KrF leadership in productivity and system extendibility", Microelectronics International, Vol. 25 No. 3.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

ASML Ships 1,000th KrF lithography system; milestone confirms KrF leadership in productivity and system extendibility

Article Type: Industry news From: Microelectronics International, Volume 25, Issue 3

ASML Holding NV has shipped its 1,000th KrF lithography system. This milestone shipment to a South Korean customer highlights the proven performance of ASML’s KrF technology for affordable and highly productive lithography in semiconductor manufacturing. As proof of its commitment to lithography value-of-ownership, ASML has increased scanner throughput by approximately 10 percent every year to a level of 150 wafers per hour today (300 mm diameter). Later this year, KrF systems will be able to process 165 wafers per hour, and this trend will continue in the years to come. In parallel, productivity enhancement packages are made available to retroactively enhance the productivity of the scanner installed base.

KrF-based lithography is used to process an average of 30 percent of the layers in 65 nm node computer chips. That number increases to around 40 percent as chipmakers move to the 45 nm node, according to ASML data.

World leader in productivity

The 1,000th KrF system will be used for the production of memory chips where productivity and total cost of ownership of lithography systems play key roles in generating competitive products. One customer exposed a record of 3,603 wafers (300 mm) in a single day on one of its ASML KrF systems. Four KrF scanners from ASML have processed more than one million wafers in a single year, setting new productivity records. A total of 82 semiconductor manufacturers worldwide are using ASML’s KrF lithography systems. The combined installed base of ASML KrF scanners (TWINSCANTM and PAS 5500) processes more than 1.1 million wafers per day.

Maximum extendibility

ASML offers semiconductor manufacturers an extensive roadmap for further improvements to extend the success of KrF, including the introduction of the TWINSCAN XT:1000 with the ultimate dry numerical aperture of 0.93, and further overlay and throughput enhancements. With the industry’s highest numerical aperture for a KrF system, the TWINSCAN XT:1000 will offer a resolution of 80 nm. This will enable manufacturers to process more mid-critical layers on KrF, delivering cost-per-layer savings of 30 percent or more over ArF production.

KrF systems are forecast by industry analysts to gain in importance over coming years. “Non-critical i-Line layers are gradually shifting into the KrF resolution domain and more and more implants, typically exposed with KrF, are needed to tune transistor performance. Being able to process many mid-critical semiconductor layers with KrF systems offers chip manufacturers the opportunity to control their cost and ultimately deliver more value to electronics producers and consumers. We expect worldwide KrF demand to rise over the coming years, growing easily by double-digit rates and reaching close to 300 scanner shipment levels by 2012,” said G. Dan Hutcheson, CEO of Market Research firm VLSI Research Inc.

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