By Cameron Chai
Belgian company imec has entered into a five year agreement to collaborate with ASML and develop the latest lithography technologies to cater to the global semiconductor industry. Starting from November 2011, both companies will contribute towards the collaboration by installing their latest lithography tools.
"ASML preproduction scanner NXE:3100 for extreme UV lithography, installed at imec’s 300mm cleanroom."
As per the agreement ASML will install its 193nm immersion litho tool and other computational lithography tools, the ASML Yieldstar S200 metrology platform and the NXT 1950i system. The company will also provide the NXE: 3300B EUV litho system. This litho system is the subsequent version of the NXE:3100 from ASML which was recently installed by imec.
According to Martin van den Brink who is the Chief Products and Technology Officer at ASML, the close collaboration between imec and ASML will help to cater to joint customers and provide them with a new solution for manufacturing chips. This partnership will also help both companies to transition into EUV lithography technology in a smooth manner. ASML has been testing the stability of its tools through its installations at imec in order to develop the latest tools within a reliable environment. imec is a nanoelectronic company specialising in enhancing its expertise through partnerships with leading companies in the areas of energy, healthcare and ICT.