Toshiba has partnered with SK hynix to jointly develop Nano Imprint Lithography (NIL) technology for use in Toshiba’s semiconductor manufacturing process.
Engineers from the two companies will start development of basic technologies for the process at Toshiba’s Yokohama Complex in Yokohama, Japan in April this year, targeting practical use in 2017.
The agreement builds on an MOU that the companies signed in December last year.
In the past Toshiba has worked with several equipment and materials companies on NIL. But the company hopes the new joint development program with SK hynix will accelerate progress towards practical use of the technology and will help produce results from Toshiba’s previous investments into NIL development.
NIL is one of candidate technologies for advancing the migration to future generations of memory devices.
Photolithography, the current mainstream process technology, uses a laser and photosensitive mask to etch circuits on a light-sensitive coating on semiconductor wafers.
NIL, by comparison, transfers the circuit design directly, by impressing a patterned template onto the wafer and has the potential to achieve finer designs.