Photomasks and the Enablement of Circuit Design Complexity

Peter Buck, Franklin Kalk, Craig West
Toppan Photomasks, Inc.


Photomasks have evolved from simple replicators of design layout for lithography to become complex translators of design intent for sub-wavelength imaging systems while at the same time maintaining a cost efficiency that exceeds Moore’s Law predictions for scalability in the semiconductor industry. The cost performance of photomasks is reviewed in context to design costs. The life cycle of a photomask product node is examined with respect to capital investment costs. Predictions for future photomask cost challenges are considered.