Efficient Extreme Ultraviolet Light for Production of Next-generation Electronics
The remarkable power of today's computers is in large part a reflection of Moore's Law – the observation that the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit doubles approximately every two years. Improved patterning optics and reduced patterning wavelengths have enabled transistor sizes to keep shrinking. Next-generation technology may well enable artificial intelligence and machine learning through conventional computing, and potentially through neuromorphic paradigms, bringing to reality transformative applications such as self-driving cars and smart buildings.
Today's integrated circuits rely on multiple-patterning deep ultraviolet (DUV) lithography using light at 193 nanometers (nm). Multiple exposures increase costs. To manufacture affordable next-generation technology in high volumes, chipmakers will need single-exposure extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography using light at 13.5 nm.
Unfortunately, such high-power light sources could each consume up to 2.5 megawatts of power. As the number of lithography tools increases, their energy consumption may reach 22 billion kilowatts per year. So there is a critical need to deploy energy-efficient lithography tools that can help create affordable, sustainable next-generation electronics.
Market penetration in next-generation EUV technology is especially challenging due to the costs associated with technology development and readiness. This SBV Pilot represents an incredible opportunity to access world-class EUV validation and characterization facilities at the Center for X-ray Optics at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. This project will help bring EUV technologies to a state of readiness for the 7 nm node, resulting in cleaner, more energy-efficient light sources for electronics manufacturing.
PROJECT INNOVATION + ADVANTAGES
Today's EUV technology works with light at 13.5 nm, generated from laser-powered plasma sources. Light at this wavelength is especially challenging, as extremely high-precision quality control and characterization are needed in the materials, equipment, and components used in lithography tools.
The industry has developed significant infrastructure to deploy next-generation EUV technology at the 7 nm node and smaller. Astrileux's technology complements the existing infrastructure, enabling the deployment of energy-efficient next-generation electronics production platforms, which will help bring down the cost of EUV and increase its accessibility in the marketplace.
The global demand for next-generation electronics keeps increasing as the Earth's population grows. The electronics industry constantly faces challenges to reduce costs and deliver technology beyond Moore's Law. Semiconductor companies face considerable market consolidation as costs increase, and new fabrication plants cost in excess of $10 billion. Value-adding technology like Astrileux's reduces costs and helps maintain access to markets.
The creation of affordable, sustainable electronics production platforms with low carbon footprints will ensure the manufacturing survivability of next-generation technology.
Integrity and transparency will be of paramount importance as high-volume production of next-generation technology ramps up. Global access to next-generation electronics production platforms will be necessary to maintain chip security.
Read about additional projects.