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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

Using GPUs In Semiconductor Manufacturing


Massive simulation and curvilinear shapes are forcing the photomask industry to rethink what types of chips work best. Aki Fujimura, CEO of D2S, talks about what happens when shapes printed on a mask are closer to what actually gets printed, how GPUs can be used to accelerate CPUs in single instruction/multiple data (SIMD) operations, and why pixel data is different from other data. » read more

Photomask Shortages Grow At Mature Nodes


A surge in demand for chips at mature nodes, coupled with aging photomask-making equipment at those geometries, are causing significant concern across the supply chain. These issues began to surface only recently, but they are particularly worrisome for photomasks, which are critical for chip production. Manufacturing capacity is especially tight for photomasks at 28nm and above, driving up ... » read more

Survey: 2022 Deep Learning Applications


The 2022 member list of deep learning projects and products that eBeam members are working on in photomask to wafer semiconductor manufacturing. Participating companies include Advantest, ASML, Canon, CEA-LETI, D2S, Fraunhofer IPMS, Hitachi High-Tech Corporation, imec, NuFlare Technology, Siemens Industries Software, Inc.; Siemens EDA, STMicroelectronics, and TASMIT. Click here to see the su... » read more

The Right Project Is Key For Photomask Adoption Of Deep Learning


Deep learning (DL) has become an integral part of the success of many companies. There have been many papers and some reported successes in semiconductor manufacturing, yet only 22% of the luminaries participating in the 2021 eBeam Initiative Luminaries survey see DL as a competitive advantage for photomask making by next year, as shown in figure 1. Looking at that chart, the luminaries believe... » read more

Unsolved Issues In Next-Gen Photomasks


Experts at the Table: Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss optical and EUV photomasks issues, as well as the challenges facing the mask business, with Naoya Hayashi, research fellow at DNP; Peter Buck, director of MPC & mask defect management at Siemens Digital Industries Software; Bryan Kasprowicz, senior director of technical strategy at Hoya; and Aki Fujimura, CEO of D2S. What f... » read more

Perspectives On Why EUV Photomasks Are More Expensive


There are fewer photomasks per wafer using EUV lithography, but each EUV photomask is more expensive. Given that, it’s not a surprise that a majority (74%) of industry luminaries surveyed in July say that EUV photomasks will contribute to an increase in photomask revenues for 2021 as shown in figure 1. In a 20-minute video, a panel of experts share their perspectives on what drives EUV photom... » read more

Business, Technology Challenges Increase For Photomasks


Experts at the Table: Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss optical and EUV photomasks issues, as well as the challenges facing the mask business, with Naoya Hayashi, research fellow at DNP; Peter Buck, director of MPC & mask defect management at Siemens Digital Industries Software; Bryan Kasprowicz, senior director of technical strategy at Hoya; and Aki Fujimura, CEO of D2S. What f... » read more

Pushing the limits of EUV mask repair: addressing sub-10 nm defects with the next generation e-beam-based mask repair tool


Abstract "Mask repair is an essential step in the manufacturing process of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) masks. Its key challenge is to continuously improve resolution and control to enable the repair of the ever-shrinking feature sizes on mask along the EUV roadmap. The state-of-the-art mask repair method is gas-assisted electron-beam (e-beam) lithography also referred to as focused electron-beam... » read more

Gearing Up For High-NA EUV


The semiconductor industry is moving full speed ahead to develop high-NA EUV, but bringing up this next generation lithography system and the associated infrastructure remains a monumental and expensive task. ASML has been developing its high-numerical aperture (high-NA) EUV lithography line for some time. Basically, high-NA EUV scanners are the follow-on to today’s EUV lithography systems... » read more

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