This research team has been studies maskless lithography and related technical topics for three years (2014~2017). Based on our previous research results and experience, and with new inputs from two research institutes (ITRI and MIRDC), this project aims at developing a high-resolution maskless lithography system with a smallest patterning linewidth down to 5~10 μm. To fulfill this goal, the team members consist of members from academia (NCKU, NTUST), industry research institute (ITRI, MIRDC), and two companies with expertise on system manufacturing, development, and integration. Furthermore, this project also brings one leading company in PCB/IC-substrate as the beta-site testing companies for evaluating the performance of our maskless lithography system.
Goals and Plan
Maskless lithography systems are highly multi-disciplinary covering many areas including precision motion control, optical system design and development, digital electronic with embedded chips, image and digital data processing, and software development. This is why so far no Taiwan company has committed to this important task. Based out previous researches, we will:
- Develop key components and techniques required for a new type of high-resolution maskless UV exposure system.
- Produce a prototype maskless lithography system with 100% domestic technology autonomy.
- Carry out on-site and in-line evaluation of the maskless lithography system for high-level PCB and IC substrate manufacturing.
- Establish a start-up company and providing the worldwide IC electronics industries with a new, advanced, and cost-effective choice of maskless lithography systems for high-end production of PCBs, substrates, and IC packaging.
Widespread adoption of maskless lithography systems in IC industry has been seen since 10 years ago, and now the trend is speeding up. This is particularly true for high-end PCB companies with higher added values and advanced IC packaging industry. For PCB industry in Taiwan alone, the annual market sale of maskless lithography systems are around US$ 2 billion/year. Globally speaking, the estimated market sale per year will up to US$ 2 billion. By the end of this project at year 2019, we will expect to hold a market share of 4~6% for the first few years, which can bring in a revenue about US$ 200~300 million/year, and an annual growth rate of 10%.