SUNNYVALE, Calif., Oct. 9 -- The X Initiative, a semiconductor supply chain consortium, announced the results of a successful effort by charter members DuPont Photomasks Inc. and Simplex Solutions Inc. to produce the first X architecture photomask. DuPont Photomasks used existing photomask production equipment to successfully write and inspect an X architecture test mask, based on simplex-generated design data. DuPont Photomasks determined all test results fall within the range of normal as compared to traditional designs.
The rapid success of this early mask experiment has broad implications for the future manufacture of X Architecture chips. First, it bears out the expectation that X Architecture designs will not fundamentally change key fabrication steps. Second, DuPont Photomasks confirmed that advanced laser-based mask pattern generation systems are well suited for writing X Architecture masks. These results will help accelerate the adoption of the X Architecture as a production-worthy approach to the pervasive use of diagonal interconnect, which drives a host of benefits, including improved chip performance, power consumption and number of working chips per wafer.