Our semiconductor mask writer: The ULTRA

The Heidelberg Instruments ULTRA laser mask writer is based on technology that has evolved from our well-established line of Volume Pattern Generators. The ULTRA has been designed and optimized specifically for the production of semiconductor photomasks in the 150 nm design node. Our mask writer is characterized by its speed, the advanced data path, high precision and structure uniformity, and the sophisticated, extremely accurate alignment features. At the same time, the ULTRA represents an economical solution with low cost of ownership. With its modern, compact build, it is easily incorporated into an existing mask shop infrastructure.

High throughput – high precision

The system features an extra powerful high-speed Spatial Light Modulator (SLM) which increases write speed and consequently maximizes productivity. Two write modes are provided depending on whether speed or utmost image quality are the priority: The quality mode QX reaches a write speed of 325 mm2 while the fast FX-mode allows a write speed of up to 580 mm2 per minute.

The ULTRA is equipped with a real-time, highly sensitive optical autofocus. This – in conjunction with a high-NA write lens, an address grid of 5 nm, and intensity correction – guarantees structure uniformity and precision of edges.  

Structure sizes of down to 500 nm can be achieved with the custom-designed objective which was specifically designed and built for the ULTRA.

Furthermore, the ULTRA features a differential interferometer which controls stage motion, a flowbox to ensure stable temperature, and ZerodurTM chucks and stage. The resulting high stability enables an overlay of 30 nm. A sophisticated correction matrix provides precise 2nd layer alignment.


The ULTRA also represents a particularly cost-effective solution for semiconductor photomask making: It features a 355 nm DPSS laser source with long-term performanceand long lifetime. Running costs are reduced by up to 80% compared to gas lasers, taking into account both the cost of electricity and laser replacement. An exchange of the laser is only necessary every 2 to 3 years and takes no more than two days, significantly maximizing system uptime.


Mature photomasks continue to be a vital component in semiconductor device fabrication. Photomasks in the established technology nodes are used towards the production of a variety of products and in a wide range of industries, for example in power management, the fabrication of audio amplifiers, microcontrollers, LED lighting, motor drivers, wireless transceivers, and RF front end modules; in IOT, MEMS, and the automotive industry.

For additional information please download the Fact Sheet or contact us.

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  • High-speed optical engine
  • Address grid down to 5 nm
  • Customized UV optics (0.9 NA objective lens)
  • 20 nm line edge roughness
  • Input formats: All standard formats, e.g. GDSII, OASIS
  • Overlay of 30 nm
  • Economical, high-power UV laser
  • 100 nm 2nd layer alignment
  • Automatic mask loader
  • CD uniformity of 30 nm
  • Maximum substrate size 9" x 9"; optional: 17" x 17"
  • Minimum feature size down to 500 nm
  • SECS / GEM protocol
  • High-speed data path for all types of pattern