The most complicated and difficult step in semiconductor manufacturing is lithography, which is why lithography is the most important semiconductor manufacturing facility. In the contest of perfecting the 7nm process, one of the most important reasons why TSMC can lead right now is EUV technology, which can account for about 33% of the cost of semiconductor manufacturing.
The most advanced lithography machine available today is the EUV lithography machine from the ASML company, which sells for more than $100 million each, and is in short supply. ASML’s main customers are the world’s first-line fabs. In addition to the three giants Intel, Samsung and TSMC, SMIC is also a customer of ASML.
According to multiple tech media reports, ASML is actively investing in the development of a new generation of EUV lithography machines. Compared with the previous generation, the biggest change of the new EUV lithography machine is the high numerical aperture lens, which enables the next generation lithography by improving the lens specifications.
The core resolution of the two major lithography machines has increased by 70%, achieving the industry’s requirements for geometric chip miniaturization.
The mass production time of the new EUV lithography machine announced by ASML was 2024. But the latest reports have said that the next-generation EUV lithography machine will be mass-produced in 2025. By this time, TSMC and Samsung would have already mass-produced the 3nm process.
So let’s just keep our fingers crossed. 1nm chips would be extremely efficient, would require lesser cooling and the TDP of those chipsets would also be really low. Such chipsets would pave way for extreme performance in compact form factor machines!
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Source: Via (in Chinese)
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