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Many breakthroughs in semiconductor science and technology rely on manufacturing or inspection instrumentation being developed and made available in anticipation of forthcoming science cases. Three major challenges are to be mentioned in the development of tools: (i) scaling-down, (ii) improvement of duty cycle, and (iii) reduction of costs. Directly or indirectly, each of such efforts can take full advantage of light sources with shorter and shorter wavelength, especially if these are laboratory-scale facilities. Short wavelength light permits both the manufacturing and inspection at reduced length scales, thus downsizing the integrated circuits. In practice, a new technology becomes enabling only if it manages to pass through alpha and beta testing in due time. In fact, tool manufacturers go through two lengthy stages of testing before release. The first stage, or alpha testing, is often performed only by users within a developing company. The second stage, or beta testing, involves a selected number of external users. These scheduled procedures permit that forthcoming needs are identified and addressed well in advance. In conclusion, it is the technologies under today's research development that are the only option for tomorrow's industry.

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