Highly anticipated: ASML focuses on manufacturing photolithography machines used to etch pc chips out of silicon wafers. The Dutch company is, certainly, essentially the most extremely valued European tech enterprise and is at present the only provider of utmost ultraviolet lithography (EUV) machines on the earth.
ASML introduced the cargo of its first High NA EUV system to Intel this week, sharing a picture of the equipment on social media. The firm is fulfilling an order made in 2018, offering the Santa Clara chipmaker with a pilot scanner manufactured after a decade of “groundbreaking science and methods engineering.”
High NA EUV scanners are poised to revolutionize chip manufacturing within the subsequent few years, providing the next EUV numerical aperture (from 0.33 to 0.55) and driving the relentless technological progress achieved by essentially the most superior chip foundries globally. The new scanners are anticipated to play an important position in manufacturing nodes past 3nm, with the aforementioned chip foundries planning to undertake the machines in 2025-2026.
ASML’s pilot Twinscan EXE:5000 is an enormous piece of equipment, requiring 13 truck-sized containers and 250 crates for transportation. Once assembled, the scanner shall be three tales tall. Intel needed to broaden one among its crops close to Hillsboro, Oregon, simply to accommodate this “beast.” Each High NA EUV software is anticipated to price between $300 million and $400 million.
Thanks to its early order and the just lately shipped pilot scanner, Intel will quickly have the ability to experiment with the next-gen EUV manufacturing expertise conceived by ASML earlier than anybody else. The firm will doubtless get pleasure from a aggressive edge over rival foundries (Samsung Foundry, TSMC), which must wait years for the ultimate model of the scanner.
However, High NA EUV adoption is not going to come as simply as elevating the ceiling of a chip manufacturing plant. Both the pilot Twinscan EXE:5000 and the commercial-grade Twinscan EXE:5200 scanners – for which Intel positioned an order in 2022 – would require important modifications in how chips are designed and produced, involving new strategies, supplies, masks, and inspection instruments.
In 2022, ASML acknowledged that it might have the ability to assemble 20 High NA EUV machines per 12 months by 2027-2028. The firm has already amassed a backlog with tens of orders for the scanners, indicating that chip foundries are desperate to obtain and assemble the brand new instruments at their services.