SPIE Advanced Lithography and Patterning Symposium 2024 – day 1

Monday began with awards, as always.  The new group of SPIE fellows from the lithography community had a very international flavor this year:  Soichi Inoue (Kioxia), Myungjun Lee (Samsung), Ted Liang (Intel), Mark van de Kerkhof (ASML), and Jan Van Schoot (ASML).  Congratulations!  The Nik Cobb Memorial Scholarship was presented to Nicholas Jenkins of the University of Colorado at Boulder.

I was extremely happy to see that Richard Sandstrom is this year’s winner of the Frits Zernike Award for Microlithography, our community’s highest honor.  Richard got his PhD from the University of California San Diego in 1979 and seven years later co-founded Cymer with his college friend Bob Akins.  Richard was chief scientist and their excimer lasers quickly became industry enablers for 248 and then 193 nm lithography.  I think it was only two years after the founding of Cymer when they shipped their first excimer light source.  The development of the EUV light source was also directed by Sandstrom, though it took a bit longer!  These light sources have always been critical to the success of Moore’s Law and lithography’s role in it, and Richard’s contribution for over 30 years was seminal.  Congratulations!

It was good to welcome Todd Younkin back to this conference.  He abandoned the field of lithography after ten years at Intel to become the CEO of SRC (Semiconductor Research Corporation), and his talk focused on SRC’s role in charting a sustainable future for semiconductors.

The industry giant Gordon E. Moore died last March at the age of 94.  His influence on the lithography community was profound (his insights that became Moore’s Law, the founding of Intel, even his 1995 plenary talk at this conference) and so the symposium decided to remember him with a very special Tribute Session.  Harvey Fineberg, President of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, gave a video speech about his ongoing legacy of charitable contributions.  Craig Barrett, former Intel CEO, provided many moving stories about his times with Moore, and their joint love of fishing.  A main theme: while a very quiet man, when Gordon Moore spoke, people listened.  Paolo Gargini, former Director of Technology Strategy at Intel, provided a personalized history of Moore’s role in Moore’s Law (in classic Gargini style:  80+ slides in 20 minutes).  Dan Hutcheson of Tech Insights described Moore as a “gentle giant” that believed in the fundamentals.  Dan provided my favorite quote of the day: “Moore’s Law is about us and our ability to innovate.  It is not a law; it is an opportunity.”  Finally, Burn Lin and Martin van den Brink tied Moore’s Law to our community by giving each their own take on the history of lithography.  It was a great tribute.  (Aside: the announcement of Martin van den Brink’s imminent retirement from ASML provoked a standing ovation for his contributions to our community.)

The regular conference talks began in the afternoon, and I started with an invited talk by Andras Vladar (NIST) commemorating the 40-year anniversary of the first CD-SEM (introduced by Hitachi in 1984).  I agree with him when he said there are no low hanging fruits for improving SEM technology, but there are fruits.  The future of SEM technology in the semiconductor industry “is bright.”

The end of the talks on Monday is always a highlight for me, since it marks the beginning of the Fractilia Happy Hour – thanks to everyone who came!

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