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Leti and Mapper announce breakthrough in cyber-security

Leti, a research institute of CEA Tech, and Mapper Lithography, a specialist provider of maskless lithography equipment for the semiconductor and nanofabrication industries, have announced a low-cost cyber-security breakthrough that encrypts individual chips with a code.

The non-falsifiable code is generated by using a unique chip design that leverages direct multi-beam writing in a process that fits in a conventional CMOS flow with an extra level of lithography and without photomasks. Throughput on Mapper‘sFLX-1200 tool installed at Leti is compatible with optical systems.

The markets for these chips include data security, traceability and combatting imports of counterfeit chips.

Leti, a specialist in electron-beam lithography, and Mapper, a Dutch company, presented a paper on the breakthrough, “Process development of a maskless N40 via level for security application with multi-beam lithography”, at SPIE Advanced Lithography 2018 being held in San Jose, Calif. The paper demonstrates a via patterning integration that is compliant with standard CMOS 40nm process flow.

“Standard optical exposure tools – optical scanners using masks – repeat the identical design on the entire silicon wafer, and cannot fabricate individualized chips,” said Leti’s Isabelle Servin, the lead author of the paper. “Leti applied its deep multi-beam lithography knowhow and Mapper‘s unique maskless fabrication tools to achieve this differentiating, cyber-security chip.”

The maskless lithography system, based on massively parallel electron-beam writing capability developed by Mapper, is designed for high-volume specialty chips and low-volume advanced logic.

Neil Tyler

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