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Intel Invests in Xtreme UV Sources

Photonics.com
Jan 2006
GOTTINGEN, Germany, Jan. 26 -- Xtreme technologies GmbH, the technology joint venture between Jenoptik AG and Ushio Inc., has received funding from Intel Capital, Intel Corp.'s strategic investment arm, to accelerate development of its extreme ultraviolet (EUV) light source for photolithography applications. A corresponding strategic investment agreement was signed in December.
Xtreme technologies said the involvement of Intel Capital is an important strategic milestone supporting the development of light sources for semiconductor lithography. EUV sources are considered to be one of the most critical items in developing EUV lithography for chip production.
"This investment enables us to expand our development efforts and to strengthen our leadership position in the emerging EUV market," said Uwe Stamm, president of Xtreme technologies GmbH.
Lithography is used to print circuits onto semiconductor chips. In order to continue increasing the density of transistors on a computer chip, semiconductor manufacturers must be able to print ever-smaller features. According to the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS), EUV lithography is being developed because current chip printing technology that uses ultraviolet light does not support printing the tiny features that will be required in the next few years as transistors and other circuit elements of computer chips shrink in size.
EUV lithography uses light with a very short wavelength of only 13.5 nm, versus the 193-nm wavelength of today. ITRS saud EUV lithography will start displacing existing lithography techniques by the end of this decade for production of leading-edge semiconductor chips with critical dimensions of 32 nm or smaller.
Xtreme technologies was founded in March 2001 as a joint venture of Lambda Physik AG, Gottingen, and Jenoptik AG`s subsidiary Jenoptik Laser, Optik, Systeme GmbH, with the aim of providing efficient EUV light sources for EUV lithography. In July 2005, Ushio, of Tokyo, acquired all shares from Lambda Physik AG. Jenoptik and Ushio each hold 50 percent of the shares in the technology company, based in Jena, Germany, with a branch office in Gottingen. Gas-discharge-produced plasma sources are developed and produced at the Gottingen site; laser-produced and gas-discharge-produced plasma sources are made at the Jena site.
For more information, visit: www.xtremetec.com


GLOSSARY
photolithography
A lithographic technique using an image produced by photography for printing on a print-nonprint, sectioned surface.
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