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Canon to Deliver World’s First Nanoimprint Replica Mask Manufacturing Equipment for Mass-Production to Leading Mask Supplier


MELVILLE, N.Y., February 27, 2017 – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader of digital imaging solutions, has announced that its parent company, Canon Inc., will commence sales of the FPA-1100NR2, the world’s first mass-production replica mask manufacturing equipment. The FPA-1100NR2 duplicates masks for semiconductor lithography equipment utilizing low-cost nanoimprint technology. Canon Inc. has announced that FPA-1100NR2 equipment will be sold to Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd, a leading supplier of masks for nanoimprinting.

Facing the difficult challenge of circuit scaling or miniaturization, the key to the advancement of semiconductor devices, nanoimprint lithography (NIL) has garnered a lot of attention as a new technology that achieves even more detailed circuit patterns of 10nm (1 nanometer = 1 billionth of a meter) at an even lower cost, compared with photolithography.1 Since 2004, Canon has been carrying out R&D in the field of semiconductor manufacturing equipment that utilizes nanoimprint technology.

When mass producing semiconductor devices with nanoimprint lithography, it is important to control the cost of the replica masks that are required for the patterning of advanced semiconductor devices. This can be challenging due to the expensive, time-consuming step of using electron beam writers to define patterns on a mask. To address this problem, Canon has developed mask replication technology that enables the fabrication of replica masks at a low cost.

Employing nanoimprint technology, the FPA-1100NR2 can faithfully transcribe a pattern from an expensive master mask to a replica mask blank in a short amount of time, making possible replica mask production with high efficiency. Through this process, mask productivity can be rapidly increased at the production sites of nanoimprint mask suppliers, to greatly reduce the manufacturing costs of semiconductor devices produced using nanoimprint technology and realize a cutting-edge lithography process with a reduced cost of ownership.2

Canon will host several presentations on its nanoimprint technology and will report on the progress of NIL development at SPIE Advanced Lithography 2017, to be held from February 26 to March 2, 2017, in San Jose, California, U.S.A.

For more information about Canon U.S.A.’s industrial products, please visit https://www.usa.canon.com/industrial.

About Nanoimprint Technology

Nanoimprint lithography manufacturing equipment utilizes a patterning technology that physically presses a mask, into which circuit patterns have been cut, onto a resin wafer resist to faithfully reproduce patterns with a higher resolution and greater uniformity compared to those produced by photolithography equipment. Additionally, as this technology does not require an array of wide-diameter lenses and the expensive light sources necessary for advanced photolithography equipment, NIL equipment achieves a simpler, more compact design, allowing for multiple units to be clustered together for increased productivity.

About Canon U.S.A., Inc.

Canon U.S.A., Inc., is a leading provider of consumer, business-to-business, and industrial digital imaging solutions to the United States and to Latin America and the Caribbean markets. With approximately $29 billion in global revenue, its parent company, Canon Inc. (NYSE:CAJ), ranks third overall in U.S. patents granted in 2016.† Canon U.S.A. is committed to the highest level of customer satisfaction and loyalty, providing 100 percent U.S.-based consumer service and support for all of the products it distributes in the United States. Canon U.S.A. is dedicated to its Kyosei philosophy of social and environmental responsibility. In 2014, the Canon Americas Headquarters secured LEED® Gold certification, a recognition for the design, construction, operations and maintenance of high-performance green buildings. To keep apprised of the latest news from Canon U.S.A., sign up for the Company's RSS news feed by visiting www.usa.canon.com/rss and follow us on Twitter @CanonUSA. For media inquiries, please contact pr@cusa.canon.com.

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†Based on weekly patent counts issued by United States Patent and Trademark Office.

1 A semiconductor lithography system that utilizes wide-diameter lenses and a laser light source to transcribe circuit patterns onto wafers.

2 Necessary equipment investments and operating costs related to semiconductor production. Used as one of the benchmarks for assessing the productivity of processes and production equipment used in a semiconductor manufacturer’s high-volume production line.