LETI and Mapper develop individualized chips with maskless lithography in CMOS process

Created March 12, 2018
300mm silicon wafer exposed on FLX-1200 multi-beam tool at 5kV on N40 BEOL stack.Applications and Research

Pictured, left: 300mm silicon wafer exposed on FLX-1200 multi-beam tool at 5kV on N40 BEOL stack.

A novel type of low-cost cyber-security breakthrough that encrypts individual chips with a unique code was presented earlier this month at SPIE’s Advanced Lithography 2018 conference and exhibition in San Jose, Ca.

Leti, a research institute of CEA Tech, and Mapper Lithography, a provider of maskless lithography equipment for the semiconductor and nanofabrication industries, have announced their low-cost cyber-security breakthrough thatencrypts individual chips with a code.

The non-falsifiable code is generated by using a unique chip design that leverages direct multi-beam writing in a process that fits in a conventional CMOS flow with an extra level of lithography and without photomasks. Throughput on Mapper‘sFLX-1200 tool installed at Leti is compatible with optical systems.

The markets for these chips include data security, traceability and combatting imports of counterfeit chips.

Joint paper
Leti, a specialist in electron-beam lithography, and Mapper, a Dutch company, presented a paper on the breakthrough, “Process development of a maskless N40 via level for security application with multi-beam lithography”, at SPIE Advanced Lithography 2018 in San Jose, Ca (on 2nd March 2018). The paper demonstrates a via patterning integration that is compliant with standard CMOS 40nm process flow.

“Standard optical exposure tools – optical scanners using masks – repeat the identical design on the entire silicon wafer, and cannot fabricate individualized chips,” said Leti’s Isabelle Servin, the lead author of the paper. “Leti applied its deep multi-beam lithography knowhow and Mapper‘sunique maskless fabrication tools to achieve this differentiating, cyber-security chip.”

The maskless lithography system, based on massively parallel electron-beam writing capability developed by Mapper, is designed for high-volume specialty chips and low-volume advanced logic. Leti and Mapper are also demonstrating the breakthrough for their customers at Leti’s facility in Grenoble.


This article was written
by Matthew Peach

Matthew Peach is a freelance technology journalist specialising in photonics and communications. He has previously worked for several business-to-business publishers, editing a range of high-tech magazines and websites.