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The Changing Mask Landscape


Semiconductor photomasks have undergone some major technology changes in the past few years after relatively minor changes for many years. New technologies such as multi-beam mask writers and extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography are major breakthroughs as they ramp into high-volume manufacturing. A new trend related to these technologies is the use of curvilinear features on photomasks. Aki... » read more

Luminaries See Growth Opportunities For Photomask Writers


Multi-beam mask writers (MBMWs) are the new kid on the block of the photomask writers, so growth predictions aren’t surprising. In fact, 90% of the industry luminaries surveyed by the eBeam Initiative think that new MBMW purchases will increase over the next three years, as shown in figure 1. Looking at that chart, industry luminaries predict sales of new photomask writers to increase across ... » read more

Curvilinear Design Benefits For Wafers


Throughout this blog series the focus has been on curvilinear photomasks – the benefits, enablers, and challenges. It leads to the obvious question that Aki Fujimura, CEO of D2S, put to the panel of luminaries. If leading-edge mask shops are ready for curvilinear shapes on mask enabled by curvilinear ILT, multi-beam mask writers and the mask design chain, can we have curvilinear target shapes... » read more

Optimizing VSB Shot Count For Curvilinear Masks


The increased photomask write time using a variable-shape e-beam (VSB) writer has been a barrier to the adoption of inverse lithography technology (ILT) beyond the limited usage for hot spots. The second installment of this video blog looked at the challenge in depth. In this five-minute panel video with industry luminaries, Ezequiel Russell describes the collaborative study between his company... » read more

What About Mask Rule Checking For Curvilinear Photomasks?


The entire photomask design chain needs to be considered in the adoption of curvilinear photomasks. A broad look at the ecosystem impact was addressed in a previous video but a more in-depth look at the design chain of photomasks raises the next question – will MRC be harder and take more time? Aki Fujimura of D2S opens the nine-minute panel video with industry luminaries by providing a conce... » read more

How Will The Adoption Of Curvilinear Masks Affect Turnaround Time?


Turnaround time (TAT) for photomask makers has historically increased at smaller and smaller process nodes, as reported in the eBeam Initiative Mask Makers surveys, so it’s important to look at the impact of curvilinear masks on TAT. In this sixth installment of our blog series on curvilinear masks, Aki Fujimura of D2S explores this question with luminaries in the industry during a video pane... » read more

Is The Photomask Ecosystem Ready For Curvilinear ILT?


The time it takes to write a photomask with curvilinear shapes was a major historical barrier to adoption inverse lithography technology (ILT), as discussed in the second installment of our blog series on curvilinear mask shapes. After years of development, multi-beam mask writers came into production and one of their features is the ability to write curvilinear masks without a write time penal... » read more

How Extensively Will Curvilinear ILT Be Used For EUV Photomasks?


Curvilinear shapes on photomasks lead to improved process windows, as the first installment of this blog series discussed. Our blog series continues with a video panel discussion of the benefits that curvilinear shapes have for EUV photomasks (masks) and whether curvilinear shapes will be used beyond today’s usage for hotspots. Our panellists approached the question of curvilinear ILT for ... » read more

How Do Multi-Beam Mask Writers Enable Curvilinear Shapes On Photomasks?


Multi-beam mask writing was identified as one of the ways to eliminate hurdles to manufacturing curvilinear mask shapes in the last installment of this blog. Our blog series continues with an educational video explanation of why and how multi-beam writers reduce write time for curvilinear mask shapes that took place during an eBeam Initiative panel discussion with industry experts during the 20... » read more

What’s Next In AI, Chips And Masks


Aki Fujimura, chief executive of D2S, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to talk about AI and Moore’s Law, lithography, and photomask technologies. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: In the eBeam Initiative’s recent Luminary Survey, the participants had some interesting observations about the outlook for the photomask market. What were those observations? Fujimur... » read more

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