Nikon tips 193-nm immersion tool, illuminator

February 28, 2011 // By Mark LaPedus
Nikon tips 193-nm immersion tool, illuminator
At the annual LithoVision event, Japan's Nikon Corporation tipped its lithography roadmap. Nikon disclosed a new 193-nm immersion tool, dubbed the S621D. The company also tipped a separate illuminator product and a metrology technology for extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography. LithoVision is sponsored by Nikon. It runs in conjunction with the SPIE Advanced Lithography conference here.

Nikon and rival ASML Holding NV are going toe-to-toe in lithography, but the two the companies have markedly different strategies. ASML is pushing hard to bring EUV to the 22-nm node, but Nikon believes that the technology will not be ready until the 16- or 11-nm node. ''Nikon anticipates a delay in EUV ecosystem readiness,’’ said Yuichi Shibasaki, general manager of the Next Generation Development Department for Nikon.

So, Nikon is pushing for optical solutions amid a rebound in its business. In optical, Nikon is currently shipping its previously-announced S620D, a 193-nm immersion tool for the 32-nm node and beyond. The S620D boasts a 1.25 numerical aperture (NA) and a throughput of 200 wafers an hour.

Customers reportedly include Intel, Globalfoundries and Samsung. The tool is reportedly being used for the development of Intel’s 22-nm logic node. With a different tool, Nikon was the sole lithography vendor for the critical layers at Intel’s 32-nm node.

At 22-nm, however, Intel will reportedly use two lithography vendors for the critical layers. Besides Nikon’s S620D, Intel is reportedly also using 193-nm immersion scanners from rival ASML.

At LithoVision, Nikon tipped a new 193-nm immersion tool, dubbed the S621D. The S621D can be ordered as a standalone system. The current S620D is a modular system that can be upgraded to an S621D tool.

The S620D has demonstrated overlay performance, and achieved across-lot overlay data below 2-nm, as well as lot-to-lot stability data across three lots ≤ 2.2-nm (3σ)–fully satisfying 32-nm manufacturing requirements and approaching 22-nm targets.

Like the S620D, the S621D boasts an NA of 1.25. But the S621D improves the overlay requirements for the 14-nm logic node. During a presentation, Nikon’s Shibasaki tipped several ''tuning and optimization knobs’’ within the tool, which is said to boost performance and overlay. This includes an intra shot grid, dynamic lens control, an adaptive reticle chuck and aberration control, he said .

In addition, Nikon also expanded

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