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Posted: April 20, 2009

Sokudo Launches the World's First Dual Track Platform for Lithography Processing

(Nanowerk News) Sokudo Co., Ltd. today launched its breakthrough SOKUDO DUO platform, a unique new concept in photoresist coat/develop track systems that provides customers with the ultra-high productivity needed to optimize leading-edge lithography processing. Incorporating an innovative dual track design, the SOKUDO DUO simultaneously processes wafers in two lines, dramatically boosting throughput to 250-300 wafers per hour (wph), depending on system configuration, while also improving uptime and substantially reducing system footprint.
“The SOKUDO DUO is the first major track platform created by our joint venture company, bringing together the significant strengths of both Applied Materials and Dainippon Screen in its design,” said Tadahiro Suhara, CEO of Sokudo Co., Ltd. ”Results from several semiconductor manufacturer installations in Japan and Asia have already confirmed the system’s high productivity performance.”
In addition to increased throughput, the SOKUDO DUO platform’s dual track design enables higher system reliability. Since the load is distributed between two lines, wafer transfer speed can be reduced, even at high output rates. Another advantage of the system’s dual track design is its non-stop operational capability. If one line is unavailable due to maintenance, there is no disruption to the second line, allowing the coat/develop process to continue and reducing the idle time of the in-line photolithography exposure system.
The SOKUDO DUO design improves wafer output per unit area by up to 40% compared to previous track systems. This dramatic reduction in system footprint allows the platform to be installed and maintained using significantly less clean room space.
The company’s extensive expertise in coat, develop, and bake technology were incorporated into the SOKUDO DUO platform to support a wide variety of complex lithography processes, including immersion ArF double patterning. To further optimize the system’s overall equipment effectiveness for the entire litho cell, the SOKUDO DUO features integrated wafer cleaning options to maintain high yield and extend maintenance intervals of the scanner’s wafer chuck.
SOKUDO Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Kyoto, Japan) is a joint venture company owned by Dainippon Screen Mfg. Co., Ltd. and Applied Materials, Inc. SOKUDO was established on July 3, 2006, for the development, manufacturing, sales and service of advanced coat/develop track equipment for semiconductor production.
Source: Sokudo (press release)
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