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Kyoto, Japan and Veldhoven, the Netherlands, November 19, 2003
ASML Holding NV (ASML) and Dainippon Screen Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (Dainippon Screen) have entered into an agreement to develop seamless litho-clustering methods. Litho-cluster is the linking of track and lithography systems used in semiconductor manufacturing.
Dainippon Screen and ASML will accomplish this goal by installing Dainippon Screen’s track systems in the ASML Development Laboratory in Veldhoven, the Netherlands. Customers will benefit from closer cooperation between track and lithography vendors as improved litho-clustering techniques and technology increase productivity and CD control.
Current litho-cluster integration methods use very basic wafer transfer scenarios resulting in inconsistent timing between the processes and slower throughput. The joint program will create interface controls for making tracks and scanners function as a single system and explore performance capabilities and process enhancements.
"Dainippon Screen is proud to partner with ASML in this endeavor,” said Mr. Takashige Suetake, COO and president, Semiconductor Equipment Company, Dainippon Screen. “Increased sophistication of the track and scanner interface will be necessary to meet future lithography requirements and provide our customers with the technology and productivity enhancements they need."
“ASML is committed to the integration of track and lithography systems for the benefit of our customers. This strategic collaboration with Dainippon Screen focuses on developing seamless litho-clustering methods for existing and next-generation technology. Customers should soon see such improvements as increased productivity and linewidth control in their litho-cluster performance resulting from collaborations between lithography and track suppliers,” said Martin van den Brink, executive vice president, marketing and technology, ASML.
The two companies will also optimize the process performance required for next-generation optical lithography, including high-NA ArF, immersion ArF and F2 (157 nm) lithography. In addition, the collaboration will develop Automated Process Control (APC) systems using integrated metrology units installed in the track.
Dainippon Screen will install its 300 mm RF3 coater/developer system to establish proof of concept and explore performance capabilities and process enhancements. Installation is slated for November 2003. Higher volume tool shipments are scheduled to begin January 2004. The RF3 is configured to provide 150 wafers per hour throughput for advanced process flows. Dainippon Screen announced plans to increase the throughput to 180 wafer per hour by 2006. The RF3 will be linked with an ASML TWINSCAN system.
ASML is the world's leading provider of lithography systems for the semiconductor industry, manufacturing complex machines that are critical to the production of integrated circuits or chips. Headquartered in Veldhoven, the Netherlands, ASML is traded on Euronext Amsterdam and Nasdaq under the symbol ASML.
About Dainippon Screen
Dainippon Screen Manufacturing Co., Ltd. was established in 1943 and is one of the leading suppliers of semiconductor fabrication equipment. All of the company’s production sites are certified for ISO9001 as well as for ISO14001 Environmental Management System. Dainippon Screen is a public company quoted on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Home page: http://www.screen.co.jp/
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