In addition Mapper Lithography BV (Delft, The Netherlands), the developer of the multibeam prototype lithography machine in use at CEA-Leti (Grenoble, France) and CEA-Leti have announced the extension of a collaborative R&D program called Imagine for an additional three years. This will include the installation of the first Matrix pre-production tools at CEA-Leti.
Mapper's pre-alpha platform has been installed in CEA-Leti's cleanroom since mid-2009. Both STMicroelectronics and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd., were participants in the original Imagine program and 50 representatives from 13 companies participated in an operational review of the research conducted in January 2012.
ST and TSMC plus Mapper, Nissan Chemical, TOK, Dow, JSR Micro, Synopsys, Mentor Graphics, Sokudo, Tokyo Electron and Aselta are participating in the project with the goal of offering maskless lithography in a commercial manufacturing environment.
"In 2012 Mapper will complete its Matrix pre-production platform with initially a 1 wafer per hour throughput capability and scalable to 10 wafers per hour," said Bert Jan Kampherbeek, CEO of Mapper, in a statement issued by CEA-Leti.
Laurent Malier, CEA-Leti CEO, said: "By continuing the Imagine program for another three years, we will continue to answer to the increasing interest showed by industry."