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    Onsite News - Monday 23 February 2009

    On this page:

       Opening Plenary Session
       New SPIE Fellows/Top Microlithography Awards Announcement
       BACUS Panel Discussion

    Opening speakers see opportunity in tough times

    In the throes of “difficult economic times” in the field, Chris Progler of Photronics, Chair of SPIE Advanced Lithography 2009, opened the week’s technical sessions noting that the number of paper submissions this year is consistent with last year, and the symposium’s characteristically low level of paper cancellations is holding firm.

    Donis Flagello of Nikon, the 2008 Symposium Co-chair, introduced three plenary speakers from industry, who also gave a nod to challenges facing the industry at the moment, but underscored the role of innovation in business practices as well as technology in driving progress.

    Growth is slowing but still going forward, Lisa T. Su of Freescale Semiconductor, said in her talk on lithography and the embedded intelligence revolution. Embedded electronics -- the application-specific devices within the devices in consumer appliances such as coffee machines and toasters, automobile functions like airbags and anti-lock brakes, and industrial and power applications like robotics and power monitoring -- are so prevalent that a person is to around 100 per day. This proliferation will only rise dramatically in the near future as we seek more conveniences, she said.

    Dr. Su said that the difference between embedded and traditional electronics (such as in a typical PC) is that the embedded segments drive different constraints, e.g., to be 100% reliable and work in real time. Noting how that causes design complexity to rise dramatically, she made a plea to the community to work together to bring complexity down.

    While the lithography sector is facing a down year, Dr. Su argued that growth in embedded applications will be steady and substantial. With the recent passage of the economic stimulus plan, she foresees movement in embedded electronics in health care (telemedicine, robotic surgery), broadband infrastructure (cloud computing, social networking), safety, and green technologies (power optimization).

    Gilad Almogy from Applied Materials predicted that this will be the worst year ever for lithography, but reminded the audience that even a bad year for this industry comes to the tune of a quarter of a trillion dollars, so "bad" is quite relative.

     Gilad Almogy in a lively plenary presentation on demand and supply within the industry.
    Dr. Almogy's talk focused on the parallels in the evolution of three industries: traditional IC manufacturing, LCDs, and solar technologies. Moore's Law, he said, has been followed very well; however, it is a supply law alone and doesn't address how demand will react. If one considers the basic model of supply and demand, one can see that the effect of Moore's Law is to move the supply curve to the right and decrease price. However, a simple decrease will not suffice. The IC industry has seen magnitudes of demand growth for relatively small increases in supply: technology drives down cost which drives applications which then increase demand.

    For the IC industry this was manifest in the evolution from mainframes to PCs to communications and then to personal consumer devices like iPhones. LCD panels have seen a similar growth pattern. Although a flat panel TV screen was first demonstrated in the 1950s, it took the incremental growth pattern from laptop screens to PC monitors to eventually arrive at screens large enough for television.

    In regard to the photovoltaics industry, Almogy pointed out that the TFT structure of thin-film solar panels was taken from display technology. While the industry has not yet experienced a demand increase in solar technologies, he predicted that technology will drive down cost and increase adoption geographically (where traditional electricity costs are highest, adoption will occur first).

    Almogy asserted that Moore's Law has not been followed simply by a scaling of technology. It has been a continuous innovation that been incrementally pushing production which, coupled with new applications, has increased demand.

    While declaring that “scaling is dead,” Bernard S. Meyerson of IBM clarified that he was not declaring Moore's Law dead. Rather, he was echoing Almogy and Su regarding the in the necessity of innovating: "If you don't innovate during this downturn, the market will come back, but you won't."

    Dr. Meyerson talked about the importance of technological innovation in different areas. In materials, he showed that before the 1990s, the only materials of interest were six elements: H, B, O, Al, Si, P. Today, lithographic materials research encompasses practically the entire periodic table, with the effect of increasing the number of complexities in the system as a whole. This holds true in source innovation such as the move to EUV, and in device technology as carbon nanotubes and 3D architectures are explored. The complexities are now dwarfing the gains from innovation so that no one company can tackle the many issues.

    Meyerson noted that this suggests a need for business innovation in a model he calls "co-opetition," where competing companies pool their physical and intellectual capital to overcome the new complexities and eventually pull away from each other to compete in the new technology. IBM has done this in the semiconductor space to great success, and its model for a co-opetition is now studied at Harvard Business School. He predicted that models such as this will be necessary as technology "shrinks" abate over the decade, and 3D integration and pervasive use of optical links drive a new set of issues and challenges.

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    Honors and awards

    Chris Mack, Gentleman Scientist, was awarded the sixth Frits Zernike Award by Symposium Chair Progler, in recognition of Dr. Mack’s development of the Prolith suite of lithography simulation software as well as his many contributions as both author and teacher. The award was made during the symposium welcome on Monday morning.

     New Fellows, l-r: Ralph Dammel, Lars Liebmann, Brian Grenon, John Sturtevant, Bruno La Fontaine, Franco Cerrina.
    A luncheon was held for the growing group of SPIE Fellows from the Advanced Lithography community. Six prominent members of the lithography community were honored as new Fellows of SPIE:

    · Franco Cerrina, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, for advances in DNA synthesis, x-ray optics and EUVL

    · Ralph Dammel, AZ Electronic Materials, for his work on photoresist materials and processes

    · Brian Grenon, Grenon Consulting, for work on photomask advancement and development

    · Bruno La Fontaine, Advanced Micro Devices, for advancements in EUV and optical lithography

    · Lars Liebmann, IBM Microelectronics, for VLSI microelectronics

    · John Sturtevant, Mentor Graphics, for special achievements in lithography.

    In the Metrology, Inspection, and Process Control conference, Alok Vaid, Rohit Pal, Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.; Matthew Sendelbach, Shahin Zangooie, IBM Corp.; Kevin Lensing, Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.; and Carsten Hartig, AMD Saxony Manufacturing GmbH, were awarded the Diana Nyyssonen Memorial Award for the Best Paper in Metrology in 2008 for their paper "Scatterometry as Technology Enabler for Embedded SiGe Process."

    Among awards announced in the Resist Materials and Processing Technology conference, the Grant Willson 2008 Best Paper Award was presented to Stewart Robertson, John Biafore, Mark Smith, and Trey Graves of KLA-Tencor for their paper on “Rigorous physical modeling of a materials-based frequency doubling lithography process.” The award is sponsored by AZ Electronic Materials and Rohm & Haas Electronic Materials.

    A new award in memory of Jeff Byers for Best Poster Paper of 2008 was made to Richard Lawson, Laren Tolbert, Cheng-Tsung Lee, and Cliff Henderson of Georgia Tech and Wang Yueh of Intel, for a paper titled “Water-developable negative-tone single-molecule resists: high-sensitivity nonchemically amplified resists.”

    At the close of the conference’s keynote session, Grant Willson, SPIE Fellow and longtime course instructor and a researcher at Univ. Texas, Austin, was given special recognition honoring his 70th birthday. Conference Chair Cliff Henderson presented Willson with a photo collage compiled from contributions from numerous friends and colleagues. Willson won the 2005 Frits Zernike Award and last year was awarded the National Medal for Technology and Innovation.

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    BACUS panel ponders future reticle realities

     At the BACUS panel podium, Chris Progler coins the term “compography” after a look into a future where computational lithography, broader collaboration, and diversification characterize the mask-making industry. From left, are moderators Robert Socha and Larry Zurbrick and panelists Harry Levinson, Tracy Weed, and Franklin Kalk (not pictured: panelists Douglas Resnick and Bert Jan Kamperbeek).
    A panel billed as “master prognosticators” generally agreed at the BACUS Technical Group meeting Monday evening that cost efficiencies, accurate production, collaboration, and diversification will be key to the industry’s future health.

    The panel was moderated by Robert Socha of ASML Mask Tools and Larry Zurbrick of Agilent Technologies. Panelists were Harry Levinson of Advanced Micro Devices, Tracy Weed of Synopsys, Franklin Kalk of Toppan Photomasks, Douglas Resnick of Molecular Imprints, Chris Progler of Photronics, and Bert Jan Kamperbeek of MAPPER Lithography.

    Several panelists predicted that there will be fewer companies five years from now. Kalk adapted Einstein’s energy equation to fit his version of that future: E=mc2, where Expenses = More Consolidation times Collaboration.

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    See news from Tuesday 24 February