Thursday 24 September 2020

Chip machinery maker ASML wins first order from China

Photo: ASML

Chipmachine marker ASML of Veldhoven has won its first-ever order from China, the Financieele Dagblad reported on Wednesday.

The paper said Chinese Semiconductor Manufacturing International has ordered a $120m extreme ultraviolet lithography machine from ASML which never identifies its customers. Citing Nikkei Asian Review the FD said this is the latest in a series of orders for the EUV machines from ASML.

Taiwan-based TSMC has ordered eight of the EUV machines, Samsung six and Intel three while GlobalFoundries of the US has ordered one. At the presentation of first-quarter figures in April, ASML said it had booked orders for 20 of the machines.

EUV technology allows the industry to continue to print smaller features onto ever-more complex chips. It is carried out in a vacuum using a plasma to produce EUV light using highly sophisticated mirrors instead of lenses to project the circuit patterns onto silicon wafers.

Today’s silicon chips have features as small as 40 nanometers – less than a few hundred atoms across – and ASML says EUV lithography tools will be used to print even smaller

Using EUV to print transistors this small is equivalent to printing an image the size of a human eye on the surface of the earth from a space shuttle . . . and then printing another image on top of the first one with perfect alignment, the company says.

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