Press Release: Nikon Announces the World's First Hyper NA Immersion System; New Tandem Stage System Enables 45 nm Process Development

Nikon Corporation has developed the world's first lithography system with a hyper NA lens. The NSR-S609B, an ArF immersion scanner with the industry's highest NA projection lens of 1.07, is targeted at mass production of 55 nm and development of 45 nm devices. The system includes several new innovations, including the proprietary Nikon Local Fill Technology and a new Tandem Stage design, which enable the system to achieve extremely high throughput of 130 wafers or more per hour.  

Nikon Local Fill Technology allows wafers to be processed at high scan speeds of 500 mm/sec or faster with no water spots or backside wafer contamination. A major concern of customers when discussing immersion lithography is micro bubbles. In repeated demonstrations, the Nikon Local Fill Technology has been proven to be free from micro bubbles and other immersion specific defects. 
To increase throughput, improve accuracy, and enhance the long term stability of the NSR-S609B, Nikon developed a new Tandem Stage design that utilizes two stages with different functions to optimize the performance of the tool for immersion lithography. The Exposure Stage is designed to process at very high rates, while the Calibration Stage is used to calibrate the tool between each wafer exchange. The result is a system with high throughput and improved accuracy. Alignment accuracy has been reduced to 7 nm or less with the Tandem Stage. Additionally, any risk of fluctuations or variations over time in the immersion process is eliminated by frequent calibration checks. 
By equipping the system with POLANO, Nikon's advanced polarized illumination system, resolution of 50 nm for production applications can be achieved. POLANO improves image contrast by 20 percent, resulting in superior resolution, increased depth of focus, and improved critical dimension (CD) uniformity. 
"Nikon was the first to ship a 0.85 NA system for advanced 90 nm production, the first to announce a system for 65 nm production, and now we're announcing the industry's first hyper NA system for 45 nm development," stated Geoff Wild, CEO of Nikon Precision, Inc. He continued, "We're providing our customers the technical advantage they need to stay a step ahead of their competition." 
About Nikon: 
Since 1980, Nikon Corporation has been revolutionizing lithography with innovative products and technologies. The company is a worldwide leader in lithography equipment for the microelectronics manufacturing industry with more than 7,200 exposure systems installed worldwide. Nikon offers the most extensive selection of production-class steppers and scanners in the industry. These products serve the semiconductor, flat panel display (LCD) and thin-film magnetic head (TFH) industries. Nikon Precision Inc. provides service, training, applications and technical support, as well as sales and marketing for Nikon lithography equipment in North America. For more information about Nikon, access our web site at: 
This press release contains forward-looking statements as that term is defined in the Private Securities Reform Act of 1995, which are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements Such statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and changes in condition, particularly those related to industry requirements and other risks. The Company undertakes no obligation to update the information in this press release. 

Posted: Thu - June 30, 2005 at 09:27 AM