Canon eyes return to leading-edge arena with launch of nanoimprint tool

Paul van Gerven
Leestijd: 1 minuut

Canon has announced the launch of a nanoimprint lithography (NIL) tool for semiconductor manufacturing. The machine is capable of producing 5nm-node patterns, which will extend to the 2nm node after improvements in mask technology, according to the Tokyo-based firm. “By bringing to market semiconductor manufacturing equipment with NIL technology, Canon meets the needs of a wide range of users by covering from the most advanced semiconductor devices to the existing devices,” reads a press release.

Canon’s FPA-1200NZ2C nanoimprint tool. Credit: Canon

NIL involves pressing a mask imprinted with the circuit pattern on the resist on the wafer, like a stamp. The technique has long been touted as an alternative for optical and EUV lithography but suffered from high defectivity, poor overlay and low throughput. Canon states that newly developed environmental control technology suppresses contamination with fine particles but doesn’t mention the overlay or throughput performance of its new tool.

Having dropped out of the EUV race, Canon acquired US nanoimprint startup Molecular Imprints in 2014 (link in Dutch). Some chipmakers, including SK Hynix and Toshiba, have run tests with imprint technology.

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