Government-Industry Partnership To Develop Advanced Lithography Technology
Extreme Ultra Violet Lithography to Make Chips with 100 Times More Computing Power and 1000 Times More Storage Capacity
SAN JOSE, Calif., Sept. 11, 1997 -- A private industry consortium, led by Intel Corporation, Advanced Micro Devices and Motorola, have joined forces with the Virtual National Laboratory (VNL) – consisting of three U.S. Department of Energy labs – to launch an advanced lithography research project targeted at increasing computer chip capabilities for the 21st century, the organization announced today. The advanced lithography technology – called Extreme Ultra Violet (EUV) – will allow the industry to etch circuit lines smaller than 0.1 micron widths. This new technology will allow microprocessors to become 100 times more powerful and memory chips to store 1,000 times more information than is currently possible.
"We have built a multi-billion dollar, worldwide industry by providing ever more powerful computer chips at a continually lower price. Successful implementation of the extreme ultraviolet lithographic technology will allow us to continue delivering this value well into the next century," said Intel Chairman Emeritus Gordon E. Moore. "This industry has been engineered by those who conquered the future, not those who dwelled on the past. We hope through these research efforts to invent the future once again."
"This partnership will help create the next generation of computer chips to power electronics we will use at the dawn of the 21st century," said U.S. Secretary of Energy Federico F. Pena. "And it is a premier example of how public-private partnerships should be crafted in the future."
The group, known as the EUV LLC (Extreme Ultraviolet Limited Liability Company), will invest $250 million in private funding over the next three years to develop extreme ultraviolet lithography for commercial manufacturing of computer chips. This project represents the largest investment ever by private industry in a Department of Energy research project.
The group hopes to move today's developmental EUV technology into production factories early next decade.
The Virtual National Laboratory represents the combined resources of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories and E.O. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
The EUV LLC has received the support of government and industry organizations such as Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the U.S. Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), and Sematech; technology suppliers 3M, Integrated Solutions (ISI), Northrop Grumman, Tinsley Laboratories and TRW; and semiconductor equipment manufacturers ASML, Nikon, Silicon Valley Group (SVG) and Ultratech Steppers.
Today's advanced microprocessors are produced using 0.35 micron technology. The industry has just begun producing microprocessors using 0.25 micron technology.
Intel projects that the microprocessor of the year 2011 will contain one billion transistors, operating at over 10 gigahertz and delivering 100,000 MIPS (millions of instructions per second).
One micron is equal to 1/1,000,000 of a meter, 1/22,400th of an inch, or approximately 1/100th the thickness of a human hair.
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