In 2009 a new European initiative on Double Patterning and Double Exposure lithography process development was started in the framework of the ENIAC Joint Undertaking. The project, named LENS (Lithography Enhancement Towards Nano Scale), involves twelve companies from five different European Countries and includes: IC makers, a group of equipment and materials companies, a mask maker, an EDA company and four research and development institutes. The LENS project aims to develop and integrate the overall infrastructure required to reach patterning resolutions required by 32nm and 22nm technology nodes through the double patterning and pitch doubling technologies on existing conventional immersion exposure tools, with the purpose to allow the timely development of 32nm and 22nm technology nodes for memories and logic devices, providing a safe alternative to EUV, Higher Refraction Index Fluids Immersion Lithography and maskless lithography, which appear to be still far from maturity. The project will cover the whole lithography supply chain including design, masks, materials, exposure tools, process integration, metrology and its final objective is the demonstration of 22nm node patterning on available 1.35 NA immersion tools on high complexity mask set.

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