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In the Press

In the Press

In the Press

Press release pending as well as YOLE Group Industry Insights article and others. Please check back and look for these updates.


Lithoptek Press Release
March 19, 2023

Lithoptek LLC has announced the release of the CD Optimizer (CDOP) semiconductor processing tool at the 2023 SPIE Advanced Lithography Conference in San Jose, CA. The CD Optimizer has been demonstrated to reduce systematic variations of CD (improving CD uniformity, or CDU) on silicon wafers by as much as a factor of four. CD, or critical dimension, is the size of the smallest features in an integrated circuit.

At the SPIE Advanced Lithography Conference, Lithoptek drew significant attention from conference attendees by exhibiting a fully operating tool. Dan Hutcheson of Tech Insights stated: “This is the first time in many years that a company brought a fully operational process tool of this complexity to an exhibit. Most exhibitors are not prepared to incur the cost of shipping such a complex tool across the country and then risk having it fail at the show. Lithoptek had the confidence in their product to demonstrate it and operated it throughout the entire show exhibit. Well done!”

Lithoptek’s CD Optimizer provides independently addressable CD adjustment points every 0.5mm corresponding to an array of 125,000 adjustments on a 200mm wafer, and an array of 250,000 adjustments on a 300mm wafer. Tool throughput is more than 100 wph. Chris Mack, CTO of Fractilia stated: “Excellent CD uniformity is critical for advanced circuit designs which push the performance limits of existing tools, such as lithography scanners or plasma etch systems. By reducing characteristic CD uniformity signatures across wafers, the CDOP tool has the potential to enable more advanced chips."

The CD Optimizer’s exposure wavelength of 266nm has demonstrated compatibility in improving CDU for 193nm and 193i resist processes. Initial results indicate compatibility with 248nm resist processes. For those interested in adjusting i-line patterns, please contact Lithoptek. Extensive testing of the tool was performed in the fully-equipped 200mm wafer fab of MIT Lincoln Laboratory. Daniel Pulver, who leads the laboratory’s Microsystems Prototyping Foundry stated: “MIT Lincoln Laboratory has collaborated with Lithoptek through a CRADA for more than two years now. We are pleased with the opportunity to work closely with this small company on innovative solutions which are expected to tighten the distribution of CD, a critical parameter in our process. We have demonstrated nanometer-scale tuning to compensate for downstream etch non-uniformity.”

MIT Lincoln Laboratory is a U.S. Department of Defense federally funded research and development center chartered to apply advanced technology to problems of national security. Research and development activities focus on long-term technology development as well as rapid system prototyping and demonstration. As a central part of its mission, the laboratory partners with and transfers much of its advanced technology to government agencies, industry, and academia.

CD Optimizer tools are available for processing 100, 150, 200 and 300 mm diameter wafers. Robotic wafer handling was provided in collaboration with Milara, Inc., of Milford, MA.

For further information and to contact Lithoptek, please visit the contact page.

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