As the world's first highly scalable maskless lithography technology for high-volume production, EV Group's (EVG) "MLE" technology combines high-resolution structuring with fast throughput and high production yield. At the same time, the considerable overhead costs usually associated with photo masks are eliminated, e.g. due to the infrastructure required for the management and maintenance of the masks.
In addition, MLE offers flexibility and enables very short development cycles for new devices or products. The MLE technology is suitable for all wafer sizes up to panels. Because the machines can be equipped with one or more print heads, the machines are just as suitable for pilot production as for high-volume production.
"For the first time, it is now possible to use the same technology from development through to high-volume production. So far there has always been a technology break in the transition from development or pilot production to volume production," said Dr. Bernd Thallner, Corporate R&D Project Manager at EVG to Markt&Technik.
The flexibility is further enhanced by the fact that the UV sources deliver light of different wavelengths so that users can use all commercially available resists.
MLE's throughput is independent of the complexity and resolution of the substrate or chip layout. The technology achieves the same patterning performance with any photoresist material.
MLE complements EVG's existing lithography systems and targets new and advanced applications where other approaches to scalability, cost-of-ownership (CoO) and other limitations reach their limits.
The MLE technology is already ready for demonstration in the clean rooms at EVG's headquarters. MLE will be integrated into a new EVG product line that is currently under development and will be announced in the next step.
"Our MLE technology is convincing in back-end lithography applications where other structuring technologies such as stepper have to compromise between performance and cost. Customers will no longer have to balance resolution, speed, flexibility or cost of ownership for their back-end structuring applications," said Paul Lindner, Executive Technology Director at EV Group. "The first steps in development with a select customer base showed that MLE can benefit a wide range of applications and we expect to add many new applications. As we continue to develop our first products based on this unique exposure technology, we look forward to working with additional industry partners to identify new devices and applications that will benefit from MLE".