ASML Reports Progress on EUV

SAN JOSE, Calif. — ASML announced it received order for four extreme ultraviolet lithography systems in its latest quarter and anticipates selling a dozen EUV systems next year.

The report fueled expectations the long-delayed scanners finally will be ready for mass production in 2020, probably for 5nm chips. Optimism for the new timeline was tempered by concerns the systems used to print lines as fine as 13nm may need a major optical upgrade for work on nodes beyond 5nm.

“We expect EUV will be used for about two or more layers in memory mid-teens nodes and 6–9 layers in the most advanced logic nodes (7 or 5 nm),” said an ASML spokeswoman.

The company said it could in 2018 double to 24 its capacity to make the systems which cost nearly $100 million each. So far chip makers have installed eight of the latest EUV systems for testing.

“The real starting point for true production of EUV is at 5nm in the 2020 timeframe,” said analyst Robert Maire of Semiconductor Advisors LLC, noting TSMC’s recently announced plans to use EUV for its 5nm node.

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