GIGAPHOTON UNLEASHES NEW ArF EXCIMER LASER, THE GT61A

OYAMA, Japan, December 6, 2006 Kicking off SEMICON Japan 2006, Gigaphoton Inc., a major lithography light source manufacturer for the global semiconductor industry, unveiled the newest addition to its argon fluoride (ArF) excimer laser light source portfolio, the GT61A. With an emission wavelength of 193 nm and a repetition rate of 6,000 Hz, the GT61A is designed for next-generation lithography tools with numerical apertures of 1.3 and higher. Having successfully completed testing and qualification, the GT61A has already begun shipment. Gigaphoton expects the GT61A will be integrated into advanced lithography tools and used within volume production environments at major global semiconductor manufacturers starting mid-2007.

In today’s advanced lithography process, with large scale integration (LSI) circuit patterns becoming increasingly finer, ArF dry lithography has become mainstream at leading-edge volume factories, while immersion lithography has become the most promising next-generation technology on the horizon. For an ArF laser to be used as a light source for immersion ArF lithography, however, a high level of output power and stable spectrum performance are increasingly critical for ensuring high throughput—all without damaging the lens due to this higher level of power. Gigaphoton launched the industry’s first 4-kHz ArF excimer laser mounted with an injection-locking resonator, the GT40A (repetition rate: 4,000 Hz, output: 45 W), during the spring of 2005. The company subsequently unveiled the GT60A (repetition rate and output increased to 6,000 Hz and 60 W) at last year’s SEMICON Japan.

The GT61A is the third-generation model within the GT family, and features the same injection-locking platform to that used by the GT40A and GT60A. In addition to the high output and high repetition rate, the GT61A provides a 30% improvement in spectral bandwidth (E95%) compared to its successful predecessors.”. As a result, the GT61A meets the requirements surrounding immersion lithography tools with high numerical apertures of 1.3 or more. In addition to improved performance, the GT61A also offers improved laser chamber life—enabling a significant reduction in down time and maintenance costs.

The GT40A/GT60A has already been accepted by major users in the global semiconductor industry, and its design concept and reliability are highly acclaimed in the industry. The GT61A is based on the same platform to maximize standardization as well as enable the use of common components, thereby allowing users to benefit from its high-reliability advantages right from the start.

Key Features of the GT61A:

  1. Spectrum Performance
    Improving on the GT60A, which achieved a spectral bandwidth (E95%) at 0.5 pm, the GT61A reaches a spectral bandwidth of 0.35 pm. In addition, a newly developed, high-precision measuring instrument and stabilization mechanism, which comes as a standard feature, allows highly stable spectrum performance during the system’s entire lifetime, thus ensuring lithography processing stability.
  2. High Reliability and High Stability
    Elongation of the laser chamber life allows the GT61A to simultaneously reduce maintenance downtime and costs. One of the other myriad advantages of the GT series is the ease of module replacement and serviceability, which in turn, helps ensure the high reliability and uptime so essential in today’s semiconductor fabs.

Major Specifications
Wavelength 193 nm
Max. Repetition Rate 6,000 Hz
Pulse Energy 10.0 mJ
Power 60 W
Bandwidth
(95% Energy Integral)
<0.35 pm
Module Replacement Intervals
Laser Chamber (Oscillator) 20 billion pulses
Laser Chamber (Amplifier) 30 billion pulses
Monitor Module 30 billion pulses
PO Front Mirror 12 billion pulses
PO Rear Mirror 12 billion pulses
F2 Trap Module 200 cycles

Gigaphoton will have key executives available to discuss the new GT61A during SEMICON Japan 2006, which starts today and runs through Friday, December 8, 2006, at Makuhari Messe, Chiba. Editors are invited to visit Gigaphoton’s booth 5C-723.

###

About Gigaphoton
Gigaphoton Inc. was founded in 2000 as a joint venture of Komatsu Ltd., the world’s No. 2 construction machinery manufacturer, and Ushio Inc., the world’s No. 1 lithography lamp manufacturer. Since then, Gigaphoton has been developing and marketing user-friendly, highly innovative laser light sources that make a great contribution to lithography technology so as to meet the stringent requirements of the ultra-fine circuit patterns of the gigabit era, and delivering them to major lithography tool suppliers in the global semiconductor industry. As the No. 2 excimer laser light source manufacturer in the world, Gigaphoton has already grown to dominate the Asian market, including Japan, with the largest number of installed bases in the region of any major semiconductor device manufacturer, while continuing to enjoy rapid growth in the U.S. and European markets. More information about Gigaphoton can be found on the company’s website at: www.gigaphoton.com

The company name, logo, GT40A, GT60A, and GT61A are trademarks of Gigaphoton, Inc. The content of this release may be revised without prior notice. Gigaphoton shall not be liable for updating or announcing a correction if the content of this release is changed for any reason in the future.  © 2006 Gigaphoton