EUV lithography needs at least 80 wafers per hour and is targeting a 250 Watt light source

The stated goal of the ASML EUV (extreme ultra violet) tool is to have an overall throughput of 60 wafers an hour by year’s end. But right now, the tool has a throughput of 5 wafers an hour. In other words, the tool requires a ”10X’’ (ten times) improvement in the power source-or about 100 watts-to meet the stated goal of running 60 wafers per hour, he said.

ASML has recently shipped the world’s first pre-production EUV lithography tool (NXE:3100) to a customer, reportedly Samsung Electronics Co. Lrd.

Each EUV tool costs $100 million. To date, ASML has garnered a staggering $1 billion worth of business from EUV tool orders alone.

To become a viable business model for fab tool vendors, EUV must have a sustained throughput of 80 wafers an hour, according to a KLA-Tencor executive.

At present, ASML has two power source suppliers for the tool: Cymer Inc. and Ushio Inc. Cymer has devised a power source based on laser-produced plasma (LPP) technology. At present, Cymer’s LPP source is running at a sustained power of 11 Watts, according to ASML.

Rival Ushio is developing a power source based on electric discharge technology. At present, the source has demonstrated 12 watts of power, according to ASML. Another vendor, Gigaphoton Inc., has demonstrated 20 Watts of power.

ASML has shipped two NXE:3100 tools. In total, it has six orders for the machine. Following the NXE:3100, the company has been developing the previously-announced NXE:3300, a full-blown production machine.

The first version, dubbed the NXE:3300B, has an NA of 0.33 and a resolution of 0.22-nm. Originally, the NXE:3300B had an NA of 0.32, but the company has bumped up the NA specification to 0.33.

The stated goal for the tool is to have a sustained throughput of 125 wafers an hour, meaning that a 250 Watt power source is needed for the system. Shipments are due in the first half of 2012. ASML has ten orders for the system.

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