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Semiconductor Equipment Assessment Leveraging Innovation (SEAL)
Start date: Jun 1, 2010, End date: Sep 30, 2013 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Description Seal is an EC-funded project covering semiconductor equipment assessment to strengthen the European semiconductor equipment industry. SEAL is an integrated project consisting of 17 equipment assessment sub-projects in the area of semiconductor manufacturing equipment. The assessment themes are equally spread amongst processing and metrology equipment, heading beyond the current state-of-the-art both for More Moore and More than Moore applications. The strategic objective of SEAL is to effectively combine efforts, resources and expertise in the joint assessment of novel equipment supported by cross-cut R&D dedicated to the identified needs of the assessment sub-projects. For Lithography, the key areas of illumination systems for mask aligners, EUV mask manufacturing and intelligent overlay management are addressed as well as massively parallel e-beam lithography. In addition, three important processes are addressed: low temperature oxidation, cleaning of sensitive interconnect stacks/structures and ion implantation for ultra shallow junctions and defect engineering. For metrology and analysis, the main focus is on enabling innovative systems to efficiently contribute to at-line and in-line monitoring and control within semiconductor facilities. Without such equipment, it will not be possible to validate progressively advanced processes during development and manufacturing.Cross-cut R&D activities relating to all equipment assessment sub-projects are covered including APC, model based control, equipment simulation, enhanced wafer and equipment logistics, advanced communication and man machine-interfaces, and virtual equipment engineering. A common approach for the assessment activities will be utilised with specifications that will be refined for each equipment type for the progressively emerging technology nodes.Overall, SEAL will strengthen the European equipment manufacturing industry in an ideal and sustainable way by combining advanced R&D topics in equipment sub-projects involving a wide community of users, research institutes and equipment suppliers with many SMEs.
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