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Micron Adopts Canon Nanoimprint for DRAM Cost Reduction

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Micron Adopts Canon Nanoimprint for DRAM Cost Reduction

Micron is strategically incorporating Canon's cutting-edge Nanoimprint Lithography (NIL) machines to optimize the cost efficiency of DRAM memory production. In a recent presentation, Micron provided in-depth insights into the utilization of nanoimprint technology within the DRAM manufacturing process. The discourse addressed challenges inherent in DRAM fabrication, particularly concerning immersion exposure resolution and the requisite increase in exposure steps with rising Chop layers for extracting virtual structures surrounding densely configured storage arrays.

Due to the inherent limitations of optical systems, achieving DRAM layer patterns through traditional optical exposure proves challenging. Nanoimprint emerges as a superior alternative, offering precision patterns at a mere 20% of the cost associated with immersion lithography. While not a complete replacement for traditional lithography across all stages of memory production, the synergistic integration of nanoimprint and traditional methods effectively minimizes specific operational costs.

Canon introduced the FPA-1200NZ2C Nanoimprint Lithography machine in October 2023, boasting the capability to directly imprint circuit patterns onto wafers. The device is lauded for its cost-effectiveness and minimal power consumption, sparking considerable industry discourse around its potential implications. Kazunori Iwamoto, the head of Canon's semiconductor equipment business, elucidated that nanoimprint technology involves imprinting semiconductor circuit patterns onto wafers using a specialized mask. A single imprint on the wafer is sufficient to create intricate 2D or 3D circuits at designated locations. With enhanced masks, the technology can facilitate the production of products featuring circuit line widths as fine as the 2nm node. Presently, Canon's nanoimprint technology achieves a minimum line width corresponding to the 5nm node for logic semiconductors.

Canon foresees the FPA-1200NZ2C Nanoimprint Lithography machine being available for shipment between 2024 and 2025.


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