ASML, Canon, and Nikon are all designing and planning to ship commercial immersion lithography tools between late 2004 and 2006, according to presentations made at the latest International Sematech (ISMT) workshop on the technology. ASML and Nikon both say they will develop 193nm immersion systems at 0.85 numerical aperture (NA) by Q3 2004. Canon says it plans to build a 193nm tool with an NA greater than 1.0 by early 2006.
Wacker-Chemie is preparing an initial public offering (IPO) of shares in its silicon wafer unit, Wacker Siltronic, according to an interview with the company’s CEO Dr Peter-Alexander Wacker in the Frankfuerter Allgemeine Zeitung.
OpTIC Technium is to help researchers from University College London (UCL) and Cranfield University in developing and commercialising ultra precision surface production technology. The aim is for production of surfaces with ten times the accuracy and with ten times greater speed than current state of the art.
Philips Electronics has made its entire portfolio of small signal discrete plastic surface mount devices (SMD) available in 100% lead-free packaging. In these devices, tin-lead-plating will be replaced by pure matte tin (100% Sn).
Infineon Technologies has signed an agreement to acquire ADMtek, a fabless IC design company based in Taiwan. The purchase price is EUR80mn in cash, including an earn-out portion of about EUR20mn if certain performance and development milestones are achieved within two years after completion of the deal.
Toshiba has used advances in process technology and design optimisation to reduce individual pixels in its latest CMOS image sensor camera module from 5.4microns to 3.75microns. This allows approximately 330,000 signal pixels to be arranged in a 492x660 array on a single chip with a 4mm optical format.
Philips Electronics and IBM have joined in an initiative to develop customer systems for radio frequency identification (RFID) and smartcard applications. The key end-application areas that the companies plan to address are RFID solutions for supply chain management, retail and asset management, as well as smartcard solutions for finance, e-government, transportation and event ticketing.
Novellus Systems announced the appointment of Dr Sasson (Sass) Somekh as president. As president, Somekh will assume the primary role in driving new product development and product line business units.
The US Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) released the 2003 edition of the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS). The collaborative document explores key issues and trends in semiconductor technology reaching 15 years into the future – up to 2018. The new ITRS was developed with contributions from more than 900 participants.
Europe’s IMEC microelectronics research centre is extending its long-term collaboration with ASML to immersion lithography. An industrial affiliation programme (IIAP) on 193nm liquid immersion lithography will run in parallel with IMEC’s 157nm lithography IIAP.
STMicroelectronics has been awarded the Best Industrial Renewable Energy Partnership as part of the European Commission’s Campaign for Take-Off for Renewable Energy Awards 2003. ST received the prize for its programme to achieve 15% renewable energy by 2010.
MEMC Electronic Materials agreed to join IMEC’s research on high-mobility layers and advanced source/drain engineering. The company will join the IMEC Industrial Affiliation Program (IIAP) that targets solutions in scaled planar devices.
Infineon Techologies is preparing "strategic options" for its fibre optic business that would involve it becoming a separate legal entity. Infineon is looking for potential partners "to maximise the value of the business".
Philips Electronics announced a new low-voltage, low-power EEPROM option for its 0.18micron CMOS18 process, targeting demand for higher storage capacity and greater flexibility for smart card, consumer, communications and automotive applications.
The Crystal Growth Laboratory group of the Autonoma University of Madrid is looking for companies or research institutes interested in equipment for the preparation of single crystals with high melting point. Collaboration could include licence agreements, marketing, information exchange or training.
The European Union and the USA are on the verge of agreement on the Galileo and GPS satellite radio navigation systems. Discussion on cohabitation between the EU’s Galileo and the American GPS systems began four years ago.
Infineon Technologies has expanded its activities in China, setting up an IC design centre and an associated subsidiary. Infineon Technologies Xi’an is located at the Xi'an High-Tech Park. The new design centre will focus on developing applications for communications, automotive and industrial electronics. Infineon will also work with two local universities.
Systems on Silicon Manufacturing (SSMC) plans to spend $250mn in 2004 on capacity expansion that will increase output to 33,000 200mm wafers per month in the near-term with a larger increase in the future.
Engineers from Lasertechnik Berlin (LTB) have produced a spectrometer based on an echelle grating that can measure a minimal linewidth of 20fm (2E-14m) full width and half maximum (FWHM) at a wavelength of 193nm (1.93E-7m). LTB Lasertechnik says that this surpasses its own record of 60fm.
Nikon says that it sees no major hurdles blocking the development of extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUVL) systems. The company plans to start full-scale product development in 2004. A system is due for launch by 2006. The tool will be targeted at mass production of 45nm DRAMs and 32nm microprocessors.