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November 3, 1999

Semicon Heavyweights Join Scalpel R&D Program

By CBR Staff Writer

A group of semiconductor heavyweights have signed a joint agreement aimed at making Lucent Technologies Inc’s Scalpel lithography technology into a production lithography platform. The participants include Texas Instruments Inc, Motorola Inc and Samsung Electronic Co Ltd.

Scalpel projection electron lithography is being developed as a potential successor to current optical lithography methods for patterning smaller and more powerful chips. Using an electron source instead of a light source, projection electron technology is claimed to have the capability to print images with features smaller than 0.05 micron, compared to today’s 0.25 and 0.18 micron technology.

Other alternatives are also in the running to become future lithography technologies. Intel Corp, Advanced Micro Devices Inc and Motorola have all joined the US consortium developing extreme ultraviolet technology (EUV-LLC) for semiconductors with circuit linewidths less than a 100 nanometers (0.1 micron). While a European body – also backed by Lucent – is investigating ion-beam lithography.

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