Winter Issue 201721 December, 2017
"EUV Is Coming"
After many years of hearing that EUV is almost ready for prime time, the tide is finally coming in. A decade of slow but steady progress has resulted in exposure tools that can expose on the order of 1,000 wafers a day on a regular basis. This may be shy of the requirements for high volume manufacturing (HVM), but it is certainly more than enough to support solid development programs and pilot line production. Almost all leading edge manufacturers have announced plans for early introduction in the 2018-19 timeframe, with HVM to follow within 1-2 years if the economics and technology are proven to be viable. Papers at the SPIE Photomask Technology (BACUS) + EUV Lithography conference in Monterey, SPIE Advanced Lithography 2017 conference and Photomask Japan 2017 symposium all highlighted the emerging maturity of EUV tools and processes, as well as the remaining challenges. It is certainly an exciting time for the EUV community, and a time of impending change for the mask making world.