Molecular Imprints, Inc., a market and technology leader for nanopatterning systems and solutions, today announced the next phase of its ongoing S-FIL® (Step and Flash® Imprint Lithography) adoption and education campaign. The company will build on several notable successes achieved in 2008, as the S-FIL campaign paves the way for both the semiconductor and hard disk drive (HDD) industries to transition to this advanced form of nanoimprint lithography. Molecular Imprints will also expand its efforts in the light-emitting diode (LED) market.
Among the campaign’s key achievements in 2008 was the continuing standardization by the HDD industry on S-FIL technology, with the number of orders by HDD companies for S-FIL systems reaching a total of 10, six of which have shipped. In the semiconductor industry, SEMATECH accepted delivery of a new Imprio 300 system and completed installation and formal acceptance in a record 68 days. The industry-leading consortium will be characterizing S-FIL for volume manufacturing at the 32nm node and below.
“In 2008, Molecular Imprints’ S-FIL solution further solidified its position as the lithography technology of choice for patterned media production in the hard disk drive industry, while in the semiconductor industry S-FIL became a favored candidate for use in 32nm and below volume nonvolatile memory production,” said Mark Melliar-Smith, CEO of Molecular Imprints. “The move toward semiconductor manufacturing was evidenced not only by concrete actions, such as the investment of SEMATECH to develop S-FIL for manufacturing, but also by industry surveys from organizations such as Wright, Williams & Kelly that found the number of industry participants expecting to see imprint lithography in production between 2010 and 2012 has jumped over 50 percent and notably, ahead of EUV. As manufacturers better understand the high-resolution, low-cost-of-ownership advantages of S-FIL, the momentum for adoption accelerates. With this in mind we will further enhance our S-FIL campaign in 2009.”
As Molecular Imprints stepped up education efforts on S-FIL in 2008, interest in this advanced nanopatterning technology rose and system orders followed. As part of its education activities for 2009, Molecular Imprints will participate at several key industry tradeshows and conferences, including the Strategies in Light Conference, the SPIE Advanced Lithography Conference, SEMICON West and DISKCON USA.
These appearances follow the company’s successful outreach efforts in 2008 that included delivering the opening address on lithography trends at DISCKON USA, as well as giving an invited address at the Micro & Nano Engineering (MNE) conference. Molecular Imprints will build on its education outreach at all of these events by expanding its participation in conference papers, technical articles and oral presentations, including findings from efforts with partners that are validating S-FIL for production applications. In addition to education efforts, the campaign will increase its focus in 2009 on enhancing the S-FIL infrastructure to support customers as they move closer to volume production on next-generation solid-state and hard-disk memory devices and systems.
Beyond new partnerships, system orders and event appearances, Molecular Imprints’ S-FIL campaign in 2008 was characterized by several landmark achievements, including the introduction of the Imprio 300 for the semiconductor industry and the Imprio HD2200 for the HDD industry. Unveiled in February 2008, the Imprio 300 represents the highest resolution, lowest cost-of-ownership nanopatterning solution for IC prototyping and process development at the 32nm node and below. The Imprio HD2200, which was introduced three months later, is the only nanopatterning system to enable both development and pilot production of double-sided pattern media. In recognition of the advantages of S-FIL for patterned media, which are offered in the Imprio HD2200, Molecular Imprints also received the DISKCON USA Best in Show award for best use of a new technology.