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SPIE Professional January 2010

Advanced Lithography

SPIE Lithography meeting, 21-25 February 2010, looks to the future after a rough year.

By Beth Kelley

Advanced LithographyAfter a rough year, the semiconductor industry appears to be making strides back to the top.

Global semiconductor sales in units shot up 23% in the third quarter of 2009, with 300 million chips predicted to have been shipped by the end of the year, according to International Data Corp. Cymer rang up 2009 third-quarter sales of $90.6 million, well ahead of earlier forecasts. ASML's estimated orders for semiconductors in the fourth quarter of 2009 were at least level with their €777 million intake in the third quarter.

Semiconductor industry insiders from around the world will be gathering at SPIE Advanced Lithography in February to learn where and in which directions the industry is rebounding.

For 34 years, the SPIE Advanced Lithography symposium has been the premier international meeting that drives the future of lithography research and applications. This year the meeting takes place 21-25 February in San Jose, CA.

"With the addition of a new conference in 2010 covering EUV lithography, the total spectrum of lithography technology is presented," say symposium chairs and SPIE Fellows Chris Progler, CTO of Photronics Inc. (USA), and Donis Flagello, Nikon Research Corp. of America (USA).

The EUV lithography conference brings the total number of conferences to six, jam-packed with more than 600 papers from the world's top researchers. The other conferences cover the topics of alternative lithographic technologies, metrology, resist materials, optical microlithography, and semiconductor design. The poster receptions offer a great opportunity for one-on-one interaction with authors.

The plenary speakers will all be looking to the future in the advanced lithography industry: Kazuo Ushida, president of Precision Equipment Co., Nikon Corp. (Japan), presents "The Future of Optical Lithography;" Eric Chen, managing director of Silver Lake Partners (Hong Kong), presents "Investing in Technology Industries in the Reset Economy;" and Sam Sivakumar of Intel Corp. (USA) presents "Lithography of the Future: A Technical and Economic Challenge."

The numerous evening panel discussions and debates are guaranteed to get people talking. The BACUS Technical Group Panel Discussion this year focuses on EUV. The rather long title, "EUV Source $10M. EUV Scanner $100M. Defect Free EUV Photomask, Priceless! For some there's NIL, for everyone else, there's EUV," humorously underscores the excitement around EUV lithography and its potential applications in the industry.

The Nanotechnology in Microlithography Panel Discussion will focus on "Self-Assembling Molecules for Semiconductor Patterning and Nanoelectronics."

Other panel discussions are the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) sponsored "Strategies for Increasing the Value of Metrology and Inspection," "New Metrology in the Present Economy," "The Trial of EUV and DPT ArF for the 22nm 1/2 Pitch Node," and "The Role of Reference Metrology in Nanotechnology Progress."

Twenty-one courses taught by hand-picked instructors cover a variety of topics from the basic to the advanced. Popular course topics include Practical Photoresist Processing; Modeling of Exposure Tools for OPC and Tooling Analysis; Nano-Scale Patterning with Imprint Lithography; and Optical Lithography Modeling. Course prices increase $50 after 5 February, so be sure to register for the courses soon.

One of the most exciting places at SPIE Advanced Lithography is the exhibition hall, where leading companies display their latest products. Companies like Synopsys, Inc. , NIST, Micro Lithography Inc., OMG-Cyantek, KLA-Tencor, Molecular Imprints, Inc., Cymer, Inc., and 4D Technology Corp., just to name a few, will be on hand to discuss their new products and future applications.

The exhibition is open Tuesday, 23 February, from 10 am to 5 pm, and Wednesday, 24 February, 10 am to 4 pm.


Hopkins Wins BACUS Award

Barry HopkinsSPIE member Barry Hopkins, CEO and cofounder of RAVE LLC, is the recipient of the 2009 BACUS Lifetime Achievement Award.

Hopkins has 47 years in the semiconductor industry, with 40 of those working with every aspect of photomask technologies. He and his RAVE cofounders pioneered the use of the Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) in a revolutionary new nanomachining approach for repairing extremely small defects on advanced, critical-level photomasks.

The BACUS award committee cited Hopkins' vision in the mask repair equipment arena, lauding his role in providing a yield-improvement pathway and a tremendous cost-saving advantage to advanced mask makers around the world.

The award was presented in September at the 2009 Photomask Technology symposium, sponsored annually by SPIE and BACUS.

BACUS is SPIE's international technical group for photomask technology.


Beth Kelley 
Beth Kelley is an SPIE editor. 

Have a question or comment about this article? Write to us at spieprofessional@spie.org.


DOI: 10.1117/2.4201001.16

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