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New tool delivers simultaneous improvements in imaging, overlay and productivity

ASML Netherlands B.V. : 04 April, 2000  (New Product)
ASML has announced the semiconductor industry's first KrF (248nm wavelength) lithography system optimized for high-volume production of ICs with 130nm design rules. The new PAS 5500/750E deep ultraviolet Step & Scan tool, introduced here at the annual SEMICON Europa trade show, provides a complete process solution by delivering significant improvements in imaging, overlay and productivity.
'This new tool allows IC makers to bring their most advanced product designs, such as 4-gigabit memory devices and gigahertz-speed logic chips, from R&D into mass production using proven, economical 248nm lithography,' said Paul van Attekum, ASML vice president of product marketing. 'We have raised the performance bar across the board for production-worthy lithography equipment.'

Semiconductor manufacturers are reaching the point where 130nm resolution is needed in production to continue shrinking device feature sizes. Leading-edge DRAM, logic IC manufacturers and IC foundries are already developing processes for 130nm lithography, but they need a production-ready exposure system. ASML's new PAS 5500/750E achieves 130nm resolution while using standard 248nm light, the most economical choice based on illumination cost, resist maturity, process experience and overall cost of ownership.

The scanner features the Starlith 750(tm) lens, Carl Zeiss newest deep UV lens with an unrivaled numerical aperture (0.7), the highest partial coherence (0.88), and the lowest aberrations available today.

To optimize process latitude for 130nm imaging, the PAS 5500/750E is equipped with ASML's AERIAL(tm) II illuminator, which provides high intensity for both conventional and annular illumination.

In addition, the tool includes as standard the QUASAR(tm) module, which enables multipole illumination. Designed as an extension of the AERIAL II illuminator, QUASAR allows IC makers to optimize their depth of focus and exposure latitude process window and reduce mask error factors for the most advanced layers of circuitry. The multipole illumination mode is generated optically, maintaining exposure intensity for maximum productivity.

The PAS 5500/750E delivers the industry's tightest overlay at less than 30nm, as required for producing semiconductor devices with 130nm design rules. The new ATHENA(tm) dual-wavelength, high-order alignment system is also included as standard for increasing the alignment process latitude on today's most advanced process layers such as tungsten CMP.

A 2-kHz, 20-watt laser and high-transmission optics provide 2,400 mW/cm2 of exposure intensity at the wafer plane. Combined with low alignment overhead and high-speed scanning stages, this allows the PAS 5500/750E to deliver industry-leading throughput of 120 200mm wafer per hour at realistic production conditions of 50 mJ/cm2 and 46 exposures fields. Lasers may be selected from among multiple suppliers and will support variable laser frequency control for lower cost of ownership.

The first shipments of this product are scheduled to begin in the second quarter of this year.
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