5 Takeaways From BACUS


As usual, the recent SPIE Photomask Technology Conference, sometimes called BACUS, was a busy event. The event, which took place in San Jose, Calif., featured presentations on the usual subjects in the photomask sector. There were presentations on mask writers, inspection, metrology, repair and cleaning. And, of course, the papers included masks based on extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithograp... » read more

Mask Maker Worries Grow


Leading-edge photomask makers face a multitude of challenges as they migrate from the 14nm node and beyond. Mask making is becoming more challenging and expensive at each node on at least two fronts. On one front, mask makers must continue to invest in the development of traditional optical masks at advanced nodes. On another front, several photomask vendors are preparing for the possible ra... » read more

Gaps Remain For EUV Masks


Extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography is once again at a critical juncture. The oft-delayed technology is now being targeted for 7nm. But there are still a number of technologies that must come together before EUV is inserted into mass production at that node. First, the EUV source must generate more power. Second, tool uptime must improve. Third, the industry needs better EUV resists. A... » read more

5 Disruptive Mask Technologies


Photomask complexity and costs are increasing at each node, thereby creating a number of challenges on several fronts. On one front, for example, traditional single-beam e-beam tools are struggling to keep up with mask complexity. As a result, the write times and costs continue to rise. Mask complexity also impacts the other parts of the tool flow, such as inspection, metrology and repair. I... » read more

Challenges Mount For EUV Masks


Five years ago, Intel urged the industry to invest millions of dollars in the photomask infrastructure to help enable extreme ultraviolet ([gettech id="31045" comment="EUV"]) lithography. At the time, there were noticeable gaps in EUV, namely defect-free masks and inspection tools. To date, however, Intel’s call to action has produced mixed results. The photomask industry is making progr... » read more