Intel has entered into a three-year, $20 million deal with lithography optics specialist Cymer to fund the development of extreme UV (EUV) light sources.
Intel believes EUV lithography will play a key role in the construction of 32nm transistors and processors, which it expects to put into production in 2009.
But as fabrication processes shrink, the equipment needed to make chip construction not only possible but financially viable becomes more complex and expensive. Building suitable light sources is only one part of the process.
"Accelerating EUV technology development to enable its successful implementation in high volume manufacturing for the 32nm node in 2009 is a critical mission at Intel," said Peter Silverman, Intel Fellow and director of Intel's Lithography Capital Equipment Development, in a statement.
"This agreement will further enable Intel and Cymer to concentrate on the critical technology challenges and on delivering a cost-effective, commercial EUV source solution to produce development tools in 2006 and meet the industry's 2009 production timeline." ®