Infineon Technologies and Canon Accelerate Intro of 157nm Lithography Systems
Press release from the issuing company
TOKYO, MUNICH, June 12, 2001-Infineon Technologies AG (FSE/NYSE: IFX) and Canon Inc. (NYSE: CAJ) today announced an agreement to launch a joint research project for the development of photolithography systems utilizing 157nm (nanometer) exposure technology via F2 (fluorine) laser illumination. The joint effort is expected to accelerate the development of 157nm lithography systems, and the subsequent introduction of these systems in the manufacturing process of semiconductor devices. Infineon plans to introduce 157nm lithography for the production of memory and logic products at its advanced production sites.
Infineon Technologies will join in Canon's development effort to speed up the realization of Canon's first-generation F2 exposure system, which is scheduled for delivery to Infineon Technologies in the second quarter of 2003. Until that time joint research activities will be conducted at Canon Inc.'s Utsunomiya Optical Products Operations, comprising the gathering of process data regarding actual device manufacturing to enable the development of 70nm compatible exposure systems. Afterwards, the research will move to Infineon Technologies' facilities for joint process development through the end of 2004. Canon requires various process data regarding actual device manufacturing in order to develop 70nm-compatible F2 exposure systems to succeed its ArF (argon fluoride) laser lithography tool lineup.
Infineon and Canon believe that semiconductor device manufacturers will need F2-laser based exposure systems, with the shorter 157nm wavelength, for the development and manufacturing of devices with 70nm groundrules. Exposure systems employing KrF (krypton fluoride, 248nm) and ArF (193nm) lasers are not able to pattern the fine lines required by the chip industry for miniaturization below 90nm and, thus, are not suited for the continued shrinking of device design rules. In order to stay on the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS), which expects the volume production of 70nm memory devices to commence in 2006, the 157nm equipment will be needed for the development and prototyping of these devices several years in advance.
"This cooperation agreement brings together the huge resist process data and experience from Infineon Technologies and the sophisticated semiconductor equipment for lithography applications from Canon," stated Andreas Oelmann, Vice President of Corporate Lithography of Infineon. "We are very pleased about this joint development program as we can start with the new 157nm lithography technology in time for our aggressive roadmap for the new memory and logic products of Infineon. In this joint work project Infineon will contribute both know how and manpower to speed up the development in Utsunomiya. Timing is very crucial for the introduction of the upcoming shrink nodes and we are confident that such a common program can win valuable months to stay ahead of the competition."
"This is the first step in demonstrating Canon's commitment to bring the most advanced optical lithography equipment and solutions to the market in a timely manner," said Akira Tajima, Canon Inc. Director and Chief Executive of Optical Products Operations. "Because Canon's objective is to provide not just the most advanced photolithography equipment, but a 157nm technology solution, Canon will work with our customers on process development, thus enabling technology experts from different areas to combine their individual expertise and focus on achieving a common goal."
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