A Wrap-Up Of Photomask Japan 2024


This year, I had the opportunity to attend the 30th Symposium on Photomask and NGL Mask Technology, also called Photomask Japan 2024 (PMJ), in Yokohama, Japan, from April 16 to 18. This well-regarded symposium brings together engineers from all over the world to share ideas on photomasks, NGL masks and related technologies. It was great being back to an in-person conference after four years ... » read more

eBeam Initiative Marks Major Milestones Over 15 Years Of Photomasks And Lithography


The eBeam initiative celebrated its 15th anniversary at the recent SPIE Advanced Lithography + Patterning Conference. 130 members of the mask and lithography community attended the annual lunch to mark the milestone. The eBeam Initiative welcomed its 53rd member, FUJIFILM Corporation, having grown from 20 members and advisors at its launch. FUJIFILM is the first company from the chemical supply... » read more

Deep Learning (DL) Applications In Photomask To Wafer Semiconductor Manufacturing


How Advantest Corporation, ASML, Fraunhofer, imec, Siemens EDA and others are using deep learning in semiconductor manufacturing. Click here to read more. » read more

Industry Luminaries Highlight Opportunities For Advancing The Non-EUV Leading Edge


The eBeam Initiative’s 12th annual Luminaries survey in 2023 reported a range of nodes from >5nm to 14nm as the most advanced non-EUV nodes using 193i lithography. A panel of semiconductor photomask and lithography experts debated several of the survey results, including this one, to provide more insights behind the results. Aki Fujimura, CEO of D2S, Inc., the managing company sponsor of t... » read more

Center For Deep Learning In Electronics Manufacturing: Bringing Deep Learning To Production For Photomask Manufacturing


The Center for Deep Learning in Electronics Manufacturing (CDLe) was formed as an alliance between D2S, Mycronic and NuFlare Technology in autumn 2018. Assignees from each alliance partner worked with deep learning (DL) experts under the leadership of Ajay Baranwal, director of CDLe. The CDLe’s mission was to 1) turn DL into a core competency inside each of the companies and 2) do DL projects... » read more

Why Curvy Design Now? Less Change Than You Think And Manufacturable Today


A curvilinear (curvy) chip, if magically made possible, would be smaller, faster, and use less power. Magic is no longer needed on the manufacturing side, as companies like Micron Technology are making photomasks with curvy shapes using state-of-the-art multi-beam mask writers today. Yet the entire chip-design infrastructure is based on the Manhattan assumption of 90-degree turns, even though i... » read more

High-NA EUV Progress And Problems


High-NA EUV will enable logic scaling for at least the next couple process nodes. It’s complex, expensive, and a feat of optical engineering, but there are a lot of components with mixed progress. Harry Levinson, principal lithographer at HJL Lithography, talks  about when this technology will likely show up, what problems still need to be resolved, and what comes next. Related Readin... » read more

Reflections On Photomask Japan 2023: Embracing The Era Of Curvilinear Masks


In April, 2023, I had the privilege of participating in Photomask Japan 2023 (PMJ2023), a web conference that brought together experts and enthusiasts in the field. The conference commenced with an enlightening keynote talk by Dr. Kurt Ronse of imec on the status and challenges of the high NA EUV ecosystem, presenting roadmaps for the introduction of high NA EUV. I would like to express my grat... » read more

How Curvilinear Mask Writing Affects Chip Design


As chips become more complex and features continue to shrink, it becomes more difficult to print shapes on photomasks. The ability to print curvilinear masks changes that equation, but not all of the pieces in the flow are automated today. Aki Fujimura, CEO of D2S, talks about what has to change, what will the impact be on design rules, and why using curvilinear shapes can shrink the manufactur... » read more

Deep Learning (DL) Applications In Photomask To Wafer Semiconductor Manufacturing


Published by the eBeam Initiative Member Companies (February 2023), this list of artificial intelligence (AI) systems used by member companies in their semiconductor manufacturing products shows progress. New examples of systems using AI include: image processing and parameter tuning in lithography tool mask metrology system B-SPline Control Point generation tool sem... » read more

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