Executive Vice President, CTO and Strategy Photronics, TX, United States
The insertion of EUV lithography into mass production has driven the need for many new photomasks technologies. These have included reflective, multi-layer mask substrates, multi-beam mask writing and critical advancements in mask inspection, cleaning, repair and pellicle. On the computation side, the nature of electron beam interaction with EUV mask substrates alongside the inherent asymmetry of the lithography scanner illumination has pushed mask simulation and correction methods forward to support production EUV patterning. As the industry introduces resolution extensions to the installed base of EUV lithography and prepares for the next generation high NA EUV era, once again the mask industry will need to step up and deliver roadmap elements as part of the capability enablement. We will review some of the ways the mask industry has delivered for EUV and highlight challenges and opportunities on the road to extensions and high NA.
At the same time, we will consider ancillary mask opportunities around what is expected to be still a high and increasing demand for non-EUV masks needed to support continued node migration and design proliferation particularly in the custom design era. As one of the most cycle time sensitive components used in the production of integrated circuits especially for getting IC designs into the fab, various pieces of the design to mask and patterning ecosystems must function seamlessly with high yield and throughput.