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AMAT's patterning advantage over ASML?

Fred Chen

Moderator
Looking over some patterning IP, I found these interesting two: US8084347(assigned to SanDisk then TSMC, but expired) and US8084310 (assigned to AMAT, expiring 2029). Either one it seems, or both in combination, would give a patterning advantage particularly for arrays of vias and pillars with sublithographic pitches. If vias and cuts were on grid locations, foundries (probably TSMC for sure) could make use of this as well, avoiding (EUV) direct printing of vias or blocks/cuts.


US8084310 2D SAQP.png
 

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  • US8084310 Self-aligned multipatterning for hole arrays.pdf
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Self-aligned litho was a hype when I was in litho more than a decade ago. Seems it did not live up to it's promise even for very regular structures like NAND flash.
 
Self-aligned litho was a hype when I was in litho more than a decade ago. Seems it did not live up to it's promise even for very regular structures like NAND flash.
It's supposed to be used for regular arrays. Samsung has used it for DRAM honeycomb, although that is a different version from what I listed above.

The self-aligned methods are quite mainstream now. It's already matured for NAND and DRAM and actually fins and gates at foundries.

Not to mention SAV and SALELE.
 
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Rather than adding features between features, build the array of features (more than you need), than crop out relatively large portions with relatively coarse patterns.
 
This looks like a specific example of standard multipatterning, where the grid features may be made smaller if the mask has more slack for OPC to be used, and then it is done twice with precise alignment.

What does AMAT have to do with this, in your title for this thread?
 
This looks like a specific example of standard multipatterning, where the grid features may be made smaller if the mask has more slack for OPC to be used, and then it is done twice with precise alignment.

What does AMAT have to do with this, in your title for this thread?
AMAT has a EUV patterning enabling tool- Sculpta in Market. Fred: Will this patent relate to Sculpta also? Seems not.
 
A patent is worth only how much you are ready to spend to enforce it.
Is AMAT going to sue any of their customers using it without paying licenses ? I doubt it.
And ASML is not going to loose any business over this I think, as it applies only to a restricted set of patterns.
 
A patent is worth only how much you are ready to spend to enforce it.
Is AMAT going to sue any of their customers using it without paying licenses ? I doubt it.
And ASML is not going to loose any business over this I think, as it applies only to a restricted set of patterns.
It looks quite cost effective for patterns which can be widespread. But I think practitioners may find similar ways to get around it.
 
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