No surprises have emerged to prevent the introduction of 193i for 65nm half-pitch in 2007, according to International SEMATECHÕs international symposium on immersion and 157nm lithography. The outlook is also positive for its extension to 45nm half-pitch and possibly below. Potential solutions for achieving the latter include hyper-numerical aperture, improved lens design, high refractive-index fluids, high-index resists and lens material, double exposure, and related infrastructure.
The US Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) is seeking proposals from interested investigators for the conduct of an independent retrospective epidemiological study of US semiconductor wafer fabrication workers. A request for proposals (RFP) has been made to public and private institutions - including universities, colleges, laboratories, and governmental agencies - to conduct the study. The principal focus of the study will be the assessment of cancer risk among workers employed in US semiconductor wafer fabrication facilities over a period of more than three decades, from the late 1960s to the present.
ASM International is setting up its first wafer processing equipment plant in Singapore this month. The plant will have 13,940m2 of total available floor area and 2787m2 of clean room facilities. The plant will have 50 employees by the end of the year, with this expected to rise to 200-300 new people within three years.
Intense Photonics has gained additional funds to expand its design and volume fabrication of optoelectronic components and modules. A GBP5mn ($9.2mn) funding round was supported by all the company's financial investors - 3i, ACT Venture Capital, Alice Ventures, Cazenove Private Equity, FNI Venture Capital and TTP Ventures.
Taiwanese light emitting diodes (LED) manufacturer South Epitaxy (SEC) has awarded a contract for a moisture-free ammonia (NH3) bulk gas delivery system to Praxair Chemax Semiconductor Materials, a joint venture between Praxair and China Petrochemical Development Corporation.
Oki Electric Industry claims the world's thinnest ultra small tri-axis accelerometer module, the ML8950. The 1.4mm thick micro-electromechanical system (MEMS) chip sensor has been integrated with the control IC to create a device in a package. In addition to detecting the tri-axis (X, Y and Z) acceleration (+/-3g), the accelerometer module can also detect inclination and impact shock as well as measure the degree of inclination and vibration. The signal is output in a digital format.
Applied Materials has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the operating subsidiaries and businesses of Metron Technology. Metron provides semiconductor equipment distribution and outsourcing. Applied will pay $85mn for all outstanding shares and equity equivalents of Metron's worldwide operating subsidiaries and substantially all of its other assets, while also assuming certain liabilities.
STMicroelectronics has developed dual-interface (contact and contactless) secure ICs for biometric records and personal information with possible application to ePassports under the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) programme.