PALO ALTO, Calif.—(BUSINESS WIRE)—May 1, 2007— HP (NYSE: HPQ) today announced that it is beginning to reap returns from its 10-year investment in nanoscale electronics with the licensing of technology that could enable the fabrication of semiconductor chips significantly more powerful than those available today.
The technology involves a process called nanoimprint lithography
(NIL) - a method of literally stamping out patterns of wires less than
50 atoms wide on a substrate. HP Labs researchers have created
patented NIL technology, which has enabled the fabrication of
laboratory prototype circuits with wire widths of 15 nanometers -
about one-third the dimension of the features in the most advanced
circuits that will be commercially available this year.
Once the NIL "master" is created, copies can be stamped out
quickly and inexpensively, like manufacturing CDs or phonograph
records. The patterns are then filled in with metals for the wires.
HP has licensed the technology to Nanolithosolutions, Inc., of
Carlsbad, Calif., which has developed a tool based on HP's technology.
The tool consists of a module that fits into a mask aligner. The
module is used to create the patterns for wires and transistors on a
substrate. The tool is simple and inexpensive to use and turns
commonly available mask aligners into high-resolution NIL machines.
The technology is also being offered to others through HP's
Intellectual Property Licensing organization.
"By building on HP's extensive research in nanoimprint
lithography, we believe we have a tool that will enable reliable,
repeatable processes for exploring biochips, photonics chips and many
other applications," said Bo Pi, chief executive officer,
Nanolithosolutions. "We believe this will be an extremely useful tool
for academic and commercial users worldwide because it will be about a
tenth the cost of current technology."
Nanolithosolutions was created by Pi and Yong Chen, a UCLA
professor and former member of HP Labs. HP also has an equity stake in
the company. Further details of the arrangements were not disclosed.
"Because HP and other companies need unique tools to conduct
nanoscale research and development, we created the underlying
technology that makes this tool possible," said Stan Williams, HP
Senior Fellow and director, Quantum Science Research, HP Labs. "But we
rely on innovative companies like Nanolithosolutions to do the
additional engineering necessary to make user-friendly tools
commercially available. This will help create future generations of
chips that will go beyond the capabilities of today's fabrication
technologies at an affordable cost."
HP encourages others to leverage its vast research and development
network and portfolio of nearly 30,000 patents and quickly bring new
technologies to market through intellectual property licensing
agreements. These agreements also enable HP to generate a return on
its R&D investment through licensing fees and royalties. More
information on HP's intellectual property licensing program is
available at www.hp.com/hpinfo/abouthp/iplicensing/.
HP focuses on simplifying technology experiences for all of its
customers - from individual consumers to the largest businesses. With
a portfolio that spans printing, personal computing, software,
services and IT infrastructure, HP is among the world's largest IT
companies, with revenue totaling $94.1 billion for the four fiscal
quarters ended Jan. 31, 2007. More information about HP is available
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