Lithographer’s Rapture

by Kit Ausschnitt, 2006   (Composed for the 2/21/2006 SPIE lithography panel discussion)

Lithographers who are about to die,
“mine’s smaller than yours” our plaintive cry.
As we rush recklessly from shrink to shrink
neuroses give us little pause to think
the end is coming and it could be nigh.

Electrons and ions drop by the way
and nary a voice dare mention x-ray.
Knock, knock, knocking on the gates of heaven
is our late guiding light, 157.
Once fierce contenders, now who is to say

whether the triumphant EUV beast
that grinds mirrors with money for its feast –
from a vacuum box, like Schrödinger’s cat,
passing xenon gas cum soupçon of scat –
is alive, or need we summon a priest?

At least a corpse so big and so heavy
would, far better than a rusted Chevy,
serve societal need with its great might
protecting skeptics from immersive plight
as bulwark of a New Orleans levee.

Mocking all great beasts comes nano-imprint,
cheaper by far than one’s own navel lint –
mashing 1X masks slathered with goo,
to make wafer patterns and clean them too.
Yet still nowhere near a chip-making mint

has approached this be-it-known “step-and-squish;”
however fervent proponents might wish.
Whither the goo squeezed out the side
and can we register, as would a bride,
the alignment from the squish to the dish?

Plunging to 193 immersion
now we relish baptismal conversion.
The meniscus shall pass and leave not a stain
save final tear as we slip down the drain –
souls lost to hyper-NA perversion.

Still there are those who prefer to stay dry;
by fracturing patterns they blissfully ply
multiple exposures on each layer
defying beliefs of the naysayer
to whom laws of physics still must apply.

Through windows tighter than a gnat’s sphincter
barely resolved by deep-UV tincture,
with RETs and assists to spread them wider,
eased by an APC jelly slider,
we plug the dykes like eager Hans Brinker.

Alas dearest friends we are short on luck –
the clock is ticking, our choices suck.
Searching further for our savior
only invites deviant behavior;
we can rise from this primordial muck!

Rather than more futile efforts malign
we must embrace intelligent design.
God did not wish noble creatures like us
enslaved to scientific syllabus.
Face it folks – Moore’s Law is simply divine.

45, 32, 22, ho!
There’s no limit to how far we can go
until atoms assemble the chips on their own
and those of us here can gladly head home –
traffickers no more in black arts litho,

but devout believers with all good cheer
in what tonight’s panelists shall make clear.
Fields afire with apocalyptic wrath
by their wisdom we’ll cross on righteous path
to that final shrink – where we disappear.

Free of Lilliputian ties that bind
our long tortured spirits will have climbed
over cloud strewn heavens serene and pale,
dwindling through eternity on semi-log scale.
May no lithographer be left behind.

(c) 2006 by Kit Auschnitt. Used with permission.