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Intel Corporation Message Board

  • wallisweaver wallisweaver Nov 22, 2011 12:04 AM Flag

    More Bad Fabrication News for ARM/TSMC

    [EUV still isn't ready for prime time. This presents a significant problem for TSMC, where they need the technology for 20nm production. If it's not ready there will either be a significant delay in moving to 20nm or costs will be much higher due to the need for double patterning instead of EUV. Intel won't need EUV until it gets to 10nm fabrication.]

    [Instead of ARM's roadmap ending with 20nm fabrication, this could mean that it ends with 28n fabrication.]

    "Extreme-violet (EUV) lithography, the next big step in chip manufacturing, is still not ready for prime time. This would mean that global chip makers who plan to use EUV manufacturing technology may have to leverage more complicated, as well as expensive, strategies to extend the current lithography tools they are using, such as double patterning. Even worse, the EUV gap also threatens the fundamental economics of the semiconductor manufacturing supply chain.

    EUV was originally planned for production use as far back as 2005. It had been expected to be ready for 22nm chip manufacture, which Intel is initiating this year. However, Intel Corp. now plans to extend optical lithography through the 14nm node and switch to EUV as its mainstream production approach at the 10nm node, starting in the second half of 2015. Samsung plans to insert EUV into volume manufacturing as soon as 2013.

    Chip makers need EUV to be ready well in advance of when they plan to use it in volume manufacturing so they can establish chip design rules and tweak their manufacturing processes. There are still challenges for EUV, including the development of better photomask inspection and repair tools and more-sensitive photoresists.

    By far, the biggest hurdle to rolling out EUV in volume production is wafer throughput on EUV tools, a metric that remains far lower than what is needed to make EUV-based manufacturing viable. The gating factor on throughput has been the lack of a EUV light source that can deliver the necessary power and reliability.

    "I think it's pretty clear that the EUV source is not going to be ready at the required power and reliability in the next couple of years," said Franklin Kalk, chief technology officer at Toppan Photomask. "With the first production tool delivery now scheduled for late 2012, and production integration following that, people who want to ramp EUV in 2013 are not going to be able to.""

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