Intel Orders 15 EUV Lithography Systems

Designing a DC/DC converter in-house

Is probably not what you think it is. At first glance circuit design seems simple

Intel Orders 15 EUV Lithography Systems

Chip manufacturing equipment supplier ASML Holding NV has received an order for 15 extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography systems from an unnamed U.S. customer. The order could be worth in excess of $1 billion.

The customer is almost certainly Intel, one of few global chip manufacturers contemplating the use of EUV lithography for possible insertion at the 10nm or 7nm manufacturing process nodes.

While ASML did not name the customer,Len Jelinek, senior director of semiconductor manufacturing at IHS Technology, says, the tools are for Intel. Intel is preparing for 10nm manufacturing and the use of EUV will allow them to get back on the cost-reduction part of Moores Law, Jelinek says.

Current expectation for EUVL production insertion. Source: ASML.

Intel (Santa Clara, Calif.) did not immediately respond to request for comment on the EUV tool order.

The EUV systems will be used to support increased development activity and pilot production of chips, with delivery of the first two NXE:3350B systems expected before the end of 2015, saysASML(Veldhoven, the Netherlands) in astatement. The tool supplier adds that the new tools will be in addition to existing EUV development systems already with the customeranother clue that points to Intel, one of three chip vendors that has invested in ASML to help fund EUV development.

Deliveries of the orders are likely to be spread into 2016 and even into 2017, but they represent a significant vote of confidence in a technology that has been under research since the mid-1980s and under development since the late 1990s.

Jelinek says Intel engineers have been able to do additional engineering to improve EUV lithography productivity. Intel has been able to modify the tools in order to optimize performance and achieve throughput in excess of 100 wafers per hour. This clearly offers cost advantages over double- or triple-pattern processes, Jelinek says.

While source power has been the No. 1 concern facing EUV lithography due to its impact on productivity, progress is also needed in mask infrastructure, resists, pellicles and inspection.

But technical progress with EUV has started to get on a roll in recent months. Late in 2014, foundry Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (Hsinchu, Taiwan) ordered two NXE:3350B EUV lithography systems for production use that are expected to be delivered in 2015.

In February, ASML and TSMC announced that TSMC had exposed 1,000 wafers on an NXE:3350B system in one day. This level of productivity was a marked improvement from the previous high of 500 wafer exposures per day in endurance tests just three months earlier.3350B EUV lithography system being prepared for shipping in mid-2015 with high-power laser and in-situ collector cleaning. Source: ASML.

During a conference call with financial analysts held on April 15, ASML CEO Peter Wennink, said the overall target for 2015 was production of 1,000 wafers per day with 70% availability, moving to 1,500 wafers per day and 85% availability.

The recent progress in EUV may have resulted from a commitment to the technology that was financially engineered by ASMLs previous CEO, Eric Meurice.

In 2012, when progress on EUV appeared to be slowing, Meurice persuaded ASMLs three leading customersIntel, Samsung and TSMCto participate in a co-investment program. Under the program, the three firms are contributing 1.38 billion (about $1.5 billion) to the cost of R&D over five years.

Separately, each of the three companies took minority stakes in ASML totalling 23% in aggregate. Intel agreed to take a 15% stake, with Samsung and TSMC taking smaller stakes.

In October 2012, ASML announced it would acquire a leading developer of EUV lithography light sources, Cymer Inc. (San Diego), for $2.6 billion in cash and stock.

EUV is now approaching volume introduction, Wennik says. Long-term EUV planning and EUV ecosystem preparation is greatly supported by this commitment to EUV, kick-starting a new round of innovation in the semiconductor industry.

An NXE:3350B EUV lithography system is reportedly priced at around 70 million (about $75 million), which would value the 15-tool order at roughly $1.1 billion. But ASML did not disclose the financial terms of the deal.

Peter WenninkWennink says ASML expects to deliver four NXE:3350Bs in 2015 in addition to two already on order. With Intel and TSMC already down for two of the leading-edge machines each, its possible that Samsung is also expected to confirm an order for the machine.

In order to deal with this demand, we are developing a production plan for 2016 of one EUV system per month, supporting a ramp-up to a 24-system manufacturing plan for 2017, and doubling that again in 2018, Wennink says.

If EUV lithography cannot be economically used in production, chipmakers only alternative is to make 7nm using the existing technologymultiple patterning using 193nm immersion. Wennink called 7nm multiple patterning with immersionindeed a costly propositiona web of pain that customers are trying to avoid.

In its financial results for the first quarter of 2015, ASML announced net income of 403 million (about $432 million) on sales of 1.650 billion (about $1.77 billion), up 18.1 percent on sales in the same quarter a year before. The company says the outlook for the second quarter is for sales of about 1.6 billion.

Questions or comments on this story? Contact:peter.

IHS semiconductor manufacturing research

TSMC Orders EUV Lithography Tools For Production

IMEC Boosts Directed Self-assembly Lithography Process

Japans Gigaphoton Boosts Brightness of EUV Source

Samsung To Build $15 Billion Wafer Fab

ASML Touts EUV Lithography Progress

Powered byCR4, the Engineering Community

By posting a comment you confirm that you have read and accept ourPosting RulesandTerms of Use.

New Semiconductor Made of Silicon Carbide has Greater Chemical Resistance than Silicon

Skyworks Launches Sky5™ Platform for 5G Global Communications at CES 2018

Two Internet of Things Development Boards Feature Bluetooth Low Energy Technology

New Technology Shows How Memories Ripple Through the Brain

New Semiconductor Made of Silicon Carbide has Greater Chemical Resistance than Silicon

Skyworks Launches Sky5™ Platform for 5G Global Communications at CES 2018

Two Internet of Things Development Boards Feature Bluetooth Low Energy Technology

New Technology Shows How Memories Ripple Through the Brain

TSMC Orders EUV Lithography Tools For Production

ASML Touts EUV Lithography Progress

Japans Gigaphoton Boosts Brightness of EUV Source

TSMC Orders EUV Lithography Tools For Production

ASML Touts EUV Lithography Progress

Japans Gigaphoton Boosts Brightness of EUV Source

Features the top stories, latest news, charts, insights and more on the end-to-end electronics value chain.

I agree to receive commercial messages from Engineering360 including product announcements and event invitations, as well as subscriptions and other promotional notifications (You may withdraw your consent at any time).

You can change your email preferences at any time. Read our fullprivacy policy.

Look for your first issue of the Electronics360 newsletter to arrive soon.

Tech Advantage is THE technology event for electric cooperative engineering, energy services, operations, information technology, purchasing and supply management professionals.

In 2018, the IEEE Radar Conference arrives in vibrant Oklahoma City for the first time. Being centrally located in the US, OKC is known for great Southern cuisine, Midwestern hospitality, and a good helping of Wild West cowboy culture. Nearby Norman, OK is also the home of NOAAs National Severe Storms Laboratory and the Advanced Radar Research Ce
nter at the University of Oklahoma, who collectively have driven much of the modern-day weather radar technology in the US. Do not miss this exciting week filled with novel radar advances and down-home fun.

The Society for Information Display (SID) is an industry organization for electronic displays, such as televisions and computer monitors. SIDs Display Week is the premier international event for the electronic display industry.

The BIO International Convention is the largest global event for the biotechnology industry and attracts the biggest names in biotech.

The Electronic Entertainment Expo, commonly known as E3, is an annual Trade Show for the computer and video games industry presented by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA).

HomeSite Map