Cymer Unveils XLR 500i
In advance of SEMICON West 2006, Cymer, the supplier of deep ultraviolet (DUV) laser light sources used in semiconductor manufacturing, unveiled the XLR 500i -- the world's first argon fluoride (ArF) laser light source for 45nm production immersion photolithography. The XLR is based on Cymer's Ring Technology and enables a 1.5X improvement in energy stability performance and a greater than 20 percent reduction in Cost of Ownership (CoO) compared to previous generation ArF products.
As immersion lithography is deployed into 45nm production, it is critical for chipmakers to employ laser light sources that enable improved critical dimension (CD) control. An improvement on Cymer's proven dual-chamber platform, the new XLR 500i architecture replaces the conventional power amplifier stage with an innovative Recirculating Ring, delivering a step-function improvement in pulse energy stability, which enables both yield and productivity enhancements. Further, the improved dose performance can also reduce the number of laser pulses consumed during the wafer exposure process, thereby contributing to a reduction in the CoO on a per wafer basis.
The Ring Technology deployed in the XLR 500i has the additional advantage of doubling the lifetime of two key modules within the MOPA-based ArF laser light sources, resulting in improved system productivity compared to previous generation ArF products. Together, the reduced requirements on pulses per wafer due to advances in dose control and improved module lifetimes, result in a greater than 20 percent reduction in the CoO.
The XLR system is an optical evolution based upon the XL platform, a platform that has been quickly adopted by the industry as the standard in next-generation ArF lithography, with over 300 systems shipped to date. To this end, XLR customers can be confident in a smooth, low-risk transition to volume manufacturing of a production-proven design.
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