editor's blog
Subscribe Now

Fighting Fire with Fire?

Microscopy doesn’t get much attention in the general tech press (although we’re used to seeing really cool pictures taken by scanning electron microscopes (SEMs), whether they’re FinFET cross-sections or nematodes up close).

But in a wafer production line, you need inspection to identify, for example, whether a mask has a defect that could cause yield loss. You can see such defects using different light wavelengths, but the folks at Lawrence Berkeley have remarked that the wavelength makes a big difference in how things look.

So logic would suggest that, if you are looking for issues that will affect EUV exposure, then you should look at the target using the same light: EUV. So they’ve announced a project to develop what they call “the worlds most advanced [EUV] microscope,” called SHARP (Semiconductor High-NA Actinic Reticle Review Project… really??)

Lest this sound like no big deal, it will take 1½ years and $4.1M to do. And there are numerous technical challenges that parallel those of their photolithographic brethren (although at least they don’t have to develop a high-volume production source of EUV photons…). Most materials absorb EUV light, so you can’t use glass lenses; you have to use mirrors. Bizarrely, the lenses are “only slightly wider than a single human hair,” with high quality images magnified by up to 2000x.

More details on the features they’re designing can be found in their release

Leave a Reply

featured blogs
Jul 3, 2020
[From the last episode: We looked at CNNs for vision as well as other neural networks for other applications.] We'€™re going to take a quick detour into math today. For those of you that have done advanced math, this may be a review, or it might even seem to be talking down...
Jul 2, 2020
Using the bitwise operators in general, and employing them to perform masking operations in particular, can be extremely efficacious....
Jul 2, 2020
In June, we continued to upgrade several key pieces of content across the website, including more interactive product explorers on several pages and a homepage refresh. We also made a significant update to our product pages which allows logged-in users to see customer-specifi...

featured video

Product Update: What’s Hot in DesignWare® IP for PCIe® 5.0

Sponsored by Synopsys

Get the latest update on Synopsys' DesignWare Controller and PHY IP for PCIe 5.0 and how the low-latency, compact, power-efficient, and silicon-proven solution can enable your SoCs while reducing risk.

Click here for more information about DesignWare IP Solutions for PCI Express

Featured Paper

Cryptography: How It Helps in Our Digital World

Sponsored by Maxim Integrated

Gain a basic understanding of how cryptography works and how cryptography can help you protect your designs from security threats.

Click here to download the whitepaper

Featured Chalk Talk

Electronic Fuses (eFuses)

Sponsored by Mouser Electronics and ON Semiconductor

Today’s advanced designs demand advanced circuit protection. The days of replacing old-school fuses are long gone, and we need solutions that provide more robust protection and improved failure modes. In this episode of Chalk Talk, Amelia Dalton chats with Pramit Nandy of ON Semiconductor about the latest advances in electronic fuses, and how they can protect against overcurrent, thermal, and overvoltage.

More information about ON Semiconductor Electronic Fuses