Articles from 6 years agoAt present, ASML is the only company in charge of EUV development, and there are no competitors. ASML has a major role to play in terms of miniaturization.
EUV Liso takes a step forward toward mass production application| New Trend of Electronic Devices ~ Frontline Report by Expert Reporter by Electronic Device Industry Newspaper (formerly Semiconductor Industry Newspaper)Speaking of next-generation technologies in semiconductor manufacturing, within the industry, “TSV (silicon penetrating via)”, “450mm wafer”, “EUV (extreme ultraviolet) lithograph”www.sangyo-times.jp
🟩 ASML is the only development of EUV
ASML of the Netherlands is the world’s largest manufacturer of semiconductor lithography machines and the only manufacturer to successfully develop EUV (Extreme Ultraviolet) lithography machines. Semiconductors are used to drastically reduce the schematic drawn on the photomask and burn it onto a silicon wafer using an exposure device. As the circuit to be burned became finer, we used light with shorter wavelengths.
- KrF: Wavelength 248nm 1990s~
- ArF: Wavelength 193nm 2000s~
- EUV: Wavelength 13.5nm Late 2010s~
The ArF wavelength is 193 nm and the EUV wavelength is 13.5 nm, and there is a difference of more than 10 times, and simple calculation shows that EUV exposure is overwhelmingly advantageous.
🟩Is EUV not worth the cost?
Currently, the adoption of EUV lithography technology is expanding in earnest in processes with a line width of 7 nm or less. However, six years ago, single-digit nanometer miniaturization technology with ArF immersion + multiple exposure was advancing, so Japan manufacturers thought that EUV lithography, which required an investment of more than 10 billion yen, would not be costly.
- KrF lithography equipment Approx. 1 billion yen
- ArF lithography equipment Approx. 5 billion yen
- EUV lithography equipment Approx. 10 billion yen
If we compare the cost of all the devices and processes involved in circuit pattern formation, it is currently mainstream that EUV is cheaper than ArF immersion + multiple exposure.
🟩 Investments by ASML
ASML sold its shares to Intel, Samsung Electronics and TSMC for about $5 billion to fund the 2012 EUV lithography equipment research and development. At one point, Intel had a 15% stake in ASML, TSMC 5%, and Samsung Electronics 3%. Without considering the risk of acquisition, the company sold its own shares to raise investment funds, and proceeded with the development of EUV with determination.
There is a sense of crisis that the semiconductor industry will mature and become obsolete as an industry if miniaturization stops. However, with the ingenuity of wisdom, we have continued to miniaturize according to Moore’s Law to improve performance and productivity. Brilliantly dispelling concerns from six years ago, EUV technology has been mass-produced. Moore’s Law will not change in the future.Nikon, a lithography competitor in the field, said that EUV was not a real solution for the time being due to technical problems and froze development. We have maintained a stance of intensively investing resources in the development of ArF immersion and 450mm compatible equipment.
How did this situation come about?