ASML MaskTools licenses scattering-bar technology to IBM

Press release - Santa Clara, California, July 10, 2000

ASML MaskTools, a wholly owned subsidiary of ASML, today announced that International Business Machines (IBM) (NYSE: IBM) has licensed ASML MaskTools patented scattering-bar technology for fabrication of application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) with 130 nm (0.13 micron) design rules. The license allows IBM to begin using the optical extension technology to produce photomasks with advanced chip designs for both R&D and volume production.

This licensing agreement marks the first business between ASML MaskTools and IBM, the world's largest information technology company. ASML MaskTools scattering bar-technology extends optical imaging technology and significantly increases depth-of-focus at sub-wavelength regimes. This enables a wider process window and cost-effective photomasks, attributes that are especially beneficial in manufacturing ASICs. By enabling the design of sub-resolution features on a photomask, scattering-bar technology can greatly increase process yields for devices with 150 nm feature sizes and below. These sub-resolution features increase the depth of focus of the imaging process in the wafer fab. Optical extension techniques, such as optical proximity correction, phase shifting, scattering bars and off-axis illumination, are allowing semiconductor companies to extend the life of deep UV lithography well beyond the sub-wavelength barrier.

"Our scattering-bar technology is the industry's most advanced and complete manufacturing solution for next-generation devices using today's optical tools," said Doug Marsh, president of ASML MaskTools. "We are extremely proud that IBM, a leading global semiconductor company, has selected our technology to support its next-generation chip production capabilities."

About ASML

ASML, founded in 1984, is a world leader in advanced lithography systems that are essential to the fabrication of integrated circuits. ASML is publicly traded on both the Amsterdam Exchanges and on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the symbol ASML. Visit the company's website at for more information.

About ASML MaskTools

ASML MaskTools, Inc. is an ASML company based in Santa Clara, California. The company is focused on providing an array of optical extension technologies to enhance photolithography process latitude, thereby improving IC yields in manufacturing. Optical extension technologies are becoming essential as optical lithography is continuing to be used for volume IC manufacturing below the wavelength of the exposure light source. MaskTools and MaskRigger are trademarks of ASML.

About IBM

IBM is the world's largest information technology company, with 80 years of leadership in helping businesses innovate. IBM creates, develops and manufactures the industry's most advanced information technologies, including computer systems, software, networking systems, storage devices and microelectronics. The fastest way to get more information about IBM is through the IBM website at Information on IBM's partner program is available here.

Contact information

  • Brittney Wolff Zatezalo
  • Corporate communications manager US
  • +14084833207