EUV Quo Vadis

“No tree grows to the sky”, my friend Karol Ubanek, the founder of Tencor, uttered these words of wisdom. They come to mind whenever I read an article or report on the subject of EUV. The amount of money and effort that are being poured into the development of the technology is nothing short of astonishing. One can only wonder what would happen if so much treasure was lavished not on the continuation of yesterday (smaller wavelengths equals smaller critical dimensions) but rather on totally tomorrow and different approaches to the problem of the continuation of the eternal “shrink” in semiconductor production. What if the answer wasn’t in the shrink but somewhere “outside the box”? TSV is such an attempt and so is 2.5 D packaging, occasionally referred to as 3.5D. . Maybe virtual wafers of epoxy rather than silicon eWLB style is the answer and then again maybe we are all trying to answer the wrong question. Is the question really to pack more devices into fewer square millimeters or is it really a better idea to “roll up the devices” as in a rolled up carpet, (there is a lot of visual information in a little bit of volume when the carpet is rolled up…just an example). It just seems to me if one half the money that is being spent on EUV was spent on seeking new questions and maybe getting new answers it could be more productive, after all… indeed, “no tree grows to the sky”.