ALBANY Nikon Corp. will start producing 450mm wafers in June for computer chip companies at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering in Albany to work on next-generation research and development.
Nikon’s 450mm immersion lithography tool will start patterning and delivering the wafers this summer for the nanocollege’s industry partners to build computer chips on the larger platforms.
“Nikon is proud to reach this key phase,” said Kazuo Ushida, Nikon’s executive vice president. “450mm scanner development is progressing on target to ensure advanced photolithography tooling will satisfy chipmakers’ requirements, and be ready for insertion when the industry decides to make this critical transition.”
Photolithography is the technique of using intense light to imprint circuitry in the computer chip fabrication process. It is one of the major steps in manufacturing transistors for computer chips.
Nikon plans to deliver its photolithography tool to the nanocollege next April, according to a news release from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office. It will be housed in Albany as part of the Global 450mm Consortium.
GlobalFoundries, IBM, Intel, Samsung and TSMC are working together to transition the industry to 450mm wafers from the current 300mm standard. Building chips on the larger wafers is expected to boost production and drive down costs.
In July Nikon invested $350 million to partner with the nanocollege on 450mm photolithography technology. As part of the commitment, the company is expected to create 100 high-tech jobs.
“This initiative is not just a New York initiative; it is a world-wide initiative which will impact the development of high-tech devices for generations to come,” said Paul Farrar, general manager of the consortium. “As we prepare to witness the first 450mm immersion tool come online, we only begin to realize the impacts of the governor’s courageous vision.”