As device circuits continue to get smaller, the wafers that they are made from are getting larger — again. A few years ago device manufacturers — both vertically integrated companies and independent foundries — pushed maximum wafer diameters from 200 mm to 300 mm. The next step will see 450 mm wafers in production around 2018. The ramp-up road will prove bumpy, however, for economic as well as technical reasons. Now one company has delivered lithography-imprint equipment to an unnamedsemiconductor manufacturer to help smooth the path to the larger wafers. The equipment vendor predicts that the machine will shave two years off the development time.