ASML and Imec have launched The Advanced Patterning Centre, a semiconductor patterning facility. The centre will be located at the Imec campus in Leuven, Belgium and will offer the global semiconductor ecosystem patterning knowledge for sub-10nm technologies. It is hoped that this will tackle upcoming scaling challenges due to the chip industry’s move towards single digit nanometre dimensions.
The Advanced Patterning Centre will use actual devices to analyse and optimise process steps as well as materials and device architecture choices, while applying integrated metrology.
To guarantee critical dimension, uniformity, and overlay control, soon to be measured in fractions of 1nm, Imec and ASML will collaborate to investigate the practical interaction between all the different steps in the chip patterning process.
ASML will support the Advanced Patterning Centre by making available its scanners, metrology systems and holistic lithography solutions, and by using the centre’s resources to optimise its offerings for the fab environment.
'ASML and Imec have been partners for almost as long as both organisations exist, and I believe the biggest beneficiary has been the chip industry which has gained faster access to breakthrough technology. I’m confident that this continued investment in our joint capabilities will further accelerate technology development and new device introductions,' said Martin van den Brink, president and chief technology officer at ASML.
Luc Van den hove, president and CEO at Imec, said: 'By bringing our collaboration to the next level, we will be able to expand our knowledge base more quickly and drive lithography advancements. Therefore, the global partner network of both companies will have access to the most advanced patterning processes for sub-10nm technologies.'
As a result of this collaboration, the global semiconductor ecosystem will gain access to new patterning solutions for next-generation chip manufacturing.