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2012 Event News and Photos


SPIE Advanced Lithography

12-16 February 2012
San Jose Convention Center and Marriott Hotel
San Jose, California, USA


Event photo gallery


Thursday 16 February

Wednesday 15 February

Tuesday 14 February

Monday 13 February

Thursday 16 February


Students excel

AL12 Cymer best paper award
The Cymer Scientific Leadership Award for Best Student Paper was presented to Peng Xie (center), University of Rochester, for his paper titled, Scanning interference evanescent-wave lithography for sub-22nm generations. The award was presented by Optical Microlithography XXV Conference Chair Will Conley (right), Dynamic Intelligence; and Conference Co-Chair Kafai Lai (left), IBM Corp.

Wednesday 15 February


'Pushing the technical edge'

AL12 Bruce Smith
Conference activity continued strong through Wednesday. Above, long-time course instructor and SPIE Fellow Bruce Smith, Rochester Institute of Technology, presents "The saga of lambda: spectral influences throughout lithography generations," in the Advances in Resist Materials and Processing Technology conference.

The meeting's integral role in bringing the community together was widely acknowledged. "This is the meeting where the next generation of semiconductor manufacturing will be born, and devices that will be made in new ways are engineered," said Kevin Liddane, Berliner Glas U.S. "The people who are here are the scientists who are pushing the technical edge in lithography, and that is the leading edge for semiconductor manufacturing. The connections are made at this particular conference."


Exhibition hall success

AL12 Exhibition
Exhibiting companies reported finding the customers there were seeking. "We walked the exhibit last year and decided to exhibit this year," said Mark Poggi, Biolin Scientific. "We do business with many of the attendees as well as the other exhibitors, and the first day of the show has been good. I'm glad we decided to exhibit."


Getting it on tape

AL12 Nigel Farrar
Nigel Farrar of Cymer was among attendees interviewed on-site by SPIE.tv, with interviews being posted along with plenary presentations from the event.

More poster papers!

AL12 posters
Wednesday night's poster session featured presentations from the several conferences, including:

  • Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) Lithography
  • Alternative Lithographic Technologies
  • Optical Microlithography
  • Design for Manufacturability through Design-Process Integration.


Tuesday 14 February


Exhibition opens strong

SPIE AL12 Exhibition
Attendance at events has been strong since the start of the week, living up to pre-meeting registration counts that were up 11% from last year. Energy was good in the exhibition hall, where hundreds of attendees gathered to view the industry's top semiconductor suppliers, integrators, and manufacturers driving the future of lithography research and applications.


Networking: Women in optics

SPIE Women in Optics
A networking luncheon for women in optics provided an opportunity for meeting and renewing connectons. An ever-expanding group of women studying, teaching, and practicing lithography discussed career enhancement, papers authors were presenting, and some of the challenges faced in the workplace. Elizabeth Dobisz, Hitachi San Jose Research Center, urged women to pursue fellowship in the society, saying, "Think highly of yourself, respect yourself, and toot your own horn."

Posters popping!

AL12 posters
Over 1,300 attendees gathered for Tuesday night's poster session. Authors of poster papers were present to answer questions and provide in-depth discussion concerning their work. Jim Greenwell with Tokyo Electron America commented, "This poster session is the best I've been to. The layout is perfect." A casual Mexican buffet with a glass of beer was the perfect way to cap the day.


EUV ... and the next big thing?

AL12 EUV panel
More 600 attendees packed the room to hear the latest on EUV technology in a panel titled "EUVL isn't the only Solution: Are the Alternative Lithographics Technologies Ready?". Panelists were Chris Bevis, KLA-Tencor; Tatsuhiko Higashiki, Toshiba; Burn Lin, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.; Moshe Preil, GLOBALFOUNDRIES; and S.V. Sreenivasan, Molecular Imprints.

Comments noted that over the last two years, the combination of 193nm immersion lithography and self-aligned spacer double patterning (SADP) has reduced the half pitch by close to a factor of two. However, at the upcoming half pitches of 16nm and 12nm, double patterning is no longer sufficient.

EUVL has been deemed by some to be the successor, and its development has advanced to the point where first generation EUV tools have been shipped and second generation tools are planned for late 2012. But throughput problems caused by insufficient source power remain the key roadblock for a technology that is needed as soon as the next two years. Even if this issue is resolved, other challenging requirements, such as actinic inspection and a viable resist, remain.


'Wild and Crazy Ideas'

AL12 Panel Discussion: Wild and Crazy Ideas
Will Conley (right), Dynamic Intelligence, and Mircea Dusa , ASML, moderated a lively panel titled "Wild and Crazy Ideas." Panelists had five minutes to discuss their vision for the future of lithography. Audience members were then invited to "challenge the speakers."


Monday 13 February


'The total spectrum': SPIE Advanced Lithography!

"For the past 36 years, the SPIE Advanced Lithography Symposium has played a key role in bringing the lithography community together to solve challenges required by the semiconductor industry," symposium chair Donis Flagello (Nikon Research Corp. of America) said. "With the addition of a new conference in 2012 covering advanced etching and related processes, the total spectrum of lithographic patterning technology is presented across seven complementary conferences."

Burn Lin
SPIE Advanced Lithography opened with SPIE President-Elect Bill Arnold, ASML honoring Burn Lin, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. for his ten years of service as the founding editor of the Journal of Micro/Nanolithography, MEMS, and MOEMS (JM3). Arnold followed by introducing four new SPIE Fellows: Patrick Naulleau from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Lab, Andrew Neureuther from University from California Berkeley, Vivek Singh from Intel, and Yu-Cheng Lin from National Cheng Kung University. Donis Flagello of Nikon was also recognized for his service as outgoing symposium chair of SPIE Advanced Lithography. (From left above, Arnold, Lin, Flagello, and symposium co-chair Harry Levinson of Global Foundries.)


'Biggest platform' in history? Mobile!

Jim C. Clifford
The first speaker in the opening plenary session was Jim Clifford, senior vice president and general manager of operations at Qualcomm CDMA Techologies. Clifford outlined opportunities in mobile, which he called "the biggest platform in the history of the world," spanning communication, entertainment, information and more.

Such devices have to be always connected, situation-aware, powerful in terms of computation and display, yet power-efficient given the hard limit of four watts in the handset, Clifford said. In addition, each new wave of technology needs to offer more cost-effectiveness than the prior generation. Clifford pointed out that the smartphone, tablets, laptops, and televisions are all offering internet-connected video access, which -- along with the "internet of everything" -- offers a dynamic ecosystem for technology developers. Within this world of wirelessly connected devices, smart mobile devices are at the center of the ecosystem.

These challenges and creative possibilities are inspiring Qualcomm to design more and more functionality on a single chip, which in turn will place additional requirements on lithography developers, Clifford said. He urged the developers in the audience to continue to pushing thresholds in CPUs (computation) and GPUs (graphics processing) so that more intensive applications like face detection and high-fidelity movies can be delivered at lower cost.

To pursue this goal Qualcomm has chosen to integrate all these complex capabilities into one chip, which gets increasing more capable with each generation. For example the Snapdragon S4 Quad chip is eight times more powerful than the original Snapdragon S1. The fabless model chosen by Qualcomm requires the company to not just "know what is coming, but to affect what's coming, influencing the fabs, and the suppliers of the fabs," many of whom were among the nearly 1,000 attendees gathered in the room at SPIE Advanced Lithography.

Clifford urged the scientists and engineers in the audience to continue pushing process development and resolution because "lithography problems are at the heart of it." He pointed out that Qualcomm is hoping the technical community can help, "printing very small images on not too expensive wafers ... yielding chips that do not exceed the power budget" associated with mobile devices, while "the next node needs to cost less after prior."


Smaller is interdisciplinary

C. Grant Willson
Grant Willson, professor of chemical engineering at University of Texas at Austin gave the second talk of the morning, focusing first of many of the key researchers he has worked with and taught over the years, including several of his current students who are reporting results this week at SPIE Advanced Lithography. He described methods that students and post-grads are researching to make things smaller, which is the essence of their future jobs in industry. Reduction in the minimum feature size is happening on many frontiers from optical lithography, immersion lithography, EUV, and increasingly the use of chemistry.

Willson described photoactive systems and mechanisms relying on the interplay between photoacid generators (PAG) and photobase generators (PBG), which can double the pitch of the mask, with results being reported at the conference this week by researchers from Austin including Ryan Mesch and Yuji Hagiware. Willson explained the fundamentals and recent developments in directed self-assembly (DSA) and highlighted the work of Chris Bencher of Applied Materials, which he called "important stuff." According to Willson, the trick is coating from water to change the surface energy for orientation control. He discussed the groundbreaking work of Christopher Ellison and Julia Cushen, also at University of Texas, Austin, who are making structures as small as 5nm.

With the tradeoffs of resolution versus throughput in mind, from single-atom positioning to photolithography to patterned media, Willson highlighted recent work in imprint lithography, particularly for patterned media, commercialized by Molecular Imprints. Research is being presented by Molecular Imprints at SPIE Advanced Lithography and the company has a booth in the technical exhibition in the San Jose Convention Center.


Efficiency and consolidation

Christopher J. Progler
The final plenary speaker was Chris Progler, CTO of Photronics, who provided an overview spanning macroeconomics, including the link between the semiconductor market and global GDP. He analyzed the seasonal consumer-driven cycles, the 2.5-year cycle between investment cycles at the enterprise level, and the 6-year "economic horror" that has a pattern of repeating itself. Progler detailed the industry consolidation that reduced the number of serious photomask companies from 40-50 at peak to 4 today. This consolidation has been forced by efficiency and has actually helped increase the rise in the average price of a mask, which is needed for a strong industry. He pointed out that 400 masks are needed to make an iPhone 4. The big growth now is in NAND Flash drives used in mobile devices. Progler pointed out that mobile sensor applications are another strong indicator of growth. Flash memory and sensor devices are subject to "highly constrained design" in order to produce at low cost.

From the perspective of the photomask community, there is interplay between mask yield, write-system utilization, and cycle time. Productivity remains a primary concern with EUV but the latest data from Cymer indicates average power is headed in the right direction. Inspection is another big concern with many projects working toward a more efficient operating paradigm using wide-area physical and/or physical patterning emulation as a critical step in efficient disposition. Higher speed data channels will also help. Spreading mask-making, across multiple locations in a multiplexed, distributed, synchronous process is achievable, using multiple writers even across mask fabs, which can do two or three critical layers with higher productivity.

He also emphasized the importance of minimizing defects in blanks. According to Progler, 80% of EUV mask issues are related to the quality of the blanks. Therefore blank inspection is a critical issue.


Recognizing the best

Diana Nyyssonen Award Memorial Award

The 2011 Diana Nyyssonen Memorial Award for the Best Paper in Metrology was presented for the paper, "High-precision edge-roughness measurement of transistor gates using three-dimensional electron microscopy combined with marker-assisted image alignment," authored by Shiano Ono, Akira Katakami, Jiro Yugami, Kazuto Ikeda, and Yuzuru Ohji (Semiconductor Leading Edge Technologies, Inc.), Miyuki Yamane, Masanari Koguchi, and Hiroyuki Shinada (Hitachi, Ltd.), and Mitsuo Ogasawara and Hiroshi Kakibayashi (Hitachi High-Technologies Corporation). Above, from left, at the award presentation are Metrology, Inspection, and Process Control for Microlithography conference chair Alexander Starikov (I & I Consulting), authors Shiano Ono (Hitachi, Ltd.) and Hiroshi Kakibayashi (Hitachi High-Technologies Corporation), and conference co-chair Jason Cain (Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.).


Grant Wilsson Award
Mark Somervell (left), Tokyo Electron America, Inc., presented the 2011 C. Grant Willson Best Paper Award to Chris Bencher (above, center), Jeffrey Smith, Liyan Miao, Cathy Cai, and Yongmei Chen of Applied Materials; Joy Cheng (right), Daniel Sanders, Melia Tjio, Hoa Troung, and William Hinsberg of IBM Almaden Research Ctr.; and Steven Holmes of IBM Albany Nanotech for their paper, "Self-assembly patterning for sub-15nm half-pitch: a transition from lab to fab." The award is sponsored by IBM.

 Jeffrey Byers Memorial
Mark Somervell (left), Tokyo Electron America, Inc., and Clifford Henderson (right), Georgia Institute of Technology, presented the 2011 Jeffrey Byers Memorial Best Poster Award to Jing Cheng (above, center), Richard Lawson, Wei-Ming Yeh, Laren Tolbert, and Clifford Henderson, Georgia Institute of Technology, for their paper, "Developing directly photodefinable substrate guiding layers for block copolymer directed self-assembly (DSA) patterning." The award is sponsored by Tokyo Electron.

Mark Somervell (left), Tokyo Electron America, Inc., presents the 2011 Hiroshi Ito Best Student Paper to Craig Higgins (above, center), Charles Settens, Patricia Wolfe, Richard Matyi, and Robert Brainard of the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, Univ. of Albany; Karen Petrillo of SEMATECH; and Robert Auger of The Dow Chemical Co. for their paper, "Coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) in EUV lithography: LER and adhesion improvement." The award is sponsored by IBM.


Lithography Fellows of SPIE


Fellows of the Society gathered for a luncheon to recognize four new Fellows and catch up with colleagues.

Fellows at Advanced Lithography are among a total of 75 named this year:

  • Yu-Cheng Lin of the National Cheng Kung University for achievements in micro-electro-mechanical systems and biomedical microsystems
  • Patrick Naulleau of Lawrence Berkeley National Lab for achievements in extreme ultraviolet lithography and associated technologies
  • Andrew Neureuther of the University of California at Berkeley for achievements in research and modeling in optical lithography
  • Vivek Singh of Intel for achievements in optical and photoresist modeling and optical proximity correction for semiconductor lithography.

Symposium chair Donis Flagello (above, left) welcomed special guest William Borucki, who attended the luncheon to receive the 2012 SPIE George W. Goddard Award. The award is presented annually in recognition of exceptional achievement in optical or photonic instrumentation for aerospace, atmospheric science, or astronomy. Borucki was honored for 25 years of design and development of high‐precision transit photometry techniques that have helpled enable NASA's Kepler mission to revolutionize our knowledge about the frequency and distribution of extra solar terrestrial planets.

Media coverage

eBeam and EUV move forward -- Advanced Lithography 2012 (Chip Design Magazine, 27 February 2012)

ML2 lithography: one tool to write them all (Semiconductor Manufacturing & Design, 21 February 2012)

EUV lithography gets some competition (Tech Talk, 21 February 2012)

Directed-self assembly gains steam in lithography (Semiconductor Manufacturing & Design, 21 February 2012)

Chip makers raise the bar for maskless lithography (Semiconductor Manufacturing & Design, 20 February 2012)

Advanced Lithography 2012: Day 4 (Lithoguru, 17 February 2012)

SPIE 2012: the spring of EUVL (Solid State Technology, 16 February 2012)

Molecular Imprints debuts roll-to-roll lithography (Semiconductor Manufacturing & Design, 16 February 2012)

Cymer reports major progress on EUV power source (Semiconductor Manufacturing & Design, 16 February 2012)

Advanced Lithography 2012: Day 3 (Lithoguru, 16 February 2012)

Advanced Lithography 2012: Day 2 (Lithoguru, 15 February 2012)

Darkhorse litho technologies stay in NGL race (EE Times, 15 February 2012)

SPIE Advanced Lithography: Intel's, TSMC's tool roadmap takeaways (Solid State Technology, 15 February 2012)

Advanced Lithography 2012: Day 1 (Lithoguru, 14 February 2012)

SPIE panel: Time is ripe for alternative NGLs (Semiconductor Manufacturing & Design, 14 February 2012)

eBeam Initiative ready with updated roadmap (EE Times, 13 February 2012)

SPIE Advanced Lithography preview: eBeam Initiative roadmap (Solid State Technology, 13 February 2012)

SPIE 2012: Tachyon FMO provides effective hotspot repair for advanced mask correction (FabTech, 13 February 2012)

Advanced Lithography 2012: a prologue (Lithoguru, 12 February 2012)

IMEC announces directed self-assembly process line (EE Times, 10 February 2012)

Directed self-assembly to grab limelight at SPIE (Semiconductor Manufacturing & Design, 10 February 2012)

DFM at SPIE Advanced Lithography show (SemiWiki, 9 February 2012)

CNSE and partners share research results at SPIE (EE Times, 9 February 2012)

Related Links

SPIE Advanced Lithography to provide 'total spectrum' look at the future of chip design and fabrication (SPIE press release)

Video interview: The road to EUV lithography (SPIE Newsroom)

SPIE Advanced Lithography 2012 website