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Home > News > Battle heats up in mask tool business

July 22nd, 2007

Battle heats up in mask tool business

Another competitive and critical market is mask repair. Mask makers are sometimes hesitant to buy these systems, but they face a harsh reality: there is no "zero defect process" in the mask or fab flow, Rave's Lee said. "At 65-nm and below, you will have to use [repair technologies like] nanomachining," he said.

The mask-repair vendors -- Rave, SII NanoTechnology, Zeiss and others -- continue to battle each other in a small market. In total, vendors will ship some 5-to-8 tools per year. The average selling price for a tool is about $5 million.

Mask repair is fragmented and divided into three technology categories: e-beam, focused-ion beam (FIB) and nanomachining. There is no silver bullet in mask repair. Each technology plays a role in the mask shop.

Rave sells laser-based and nanomachining tools. At Semicon West, the company tipped its new product roadmap, by showing machines for the 45- and 32-nm nodes.


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