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Future Trends in Microelectronics by Alexander Zaslavsky, Jimmy Xu, Serge Luryi

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1.2

How Lithography Enables Moore's Law

J. P. H. Benschop

ASML, Veldhoven, The Netherlands

1 Introduction

Over the last 50 years, Moore's Law has set the pace for the electronics industry, delivering increasing computing capabilities at stable cost. This was driven by the steady pace of the increase of components in an integrated circuit (IC), which has to a large extent been enabled by optical lithography printing increasingly smaller electronic features on a silicon wafer.

We will quantify what the contribution of lithography to Moore's Law has been in the past and then discuss the future lithography options to extend Moore's Law into the future.

2 Moore's Law and the contribution of lithography

In 1965, Moore observed that the number of components in an IC or (micro)chip, doubled every year1 and he predicted this would continue. Due to the high fixed costs to produce a single chip, increasing density would lead to lower cost per component. This empirical observation of economics became later known as “Moore's Law.”

In a later paper, Moore quantified the contributions to a doubling of components per year2: die size reduction (∼30%), dimension reduction (∼30%), and “device and circuit cleverness” (∼40%). Lithography, enabling the dimension reduction, thus contributed to a doubling of components per chip every 3.3 years. In that same paper Moore predicted that the components per chip would double every 2 years, compared with his previous prediction of 1 year. This revised ...

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