Friday, September 29, 2017
Major DRAM chipmakers will continue to use multiple patterning exposure techniques for their 1x/1y nodes, but a question mark is still hanging over the prospect of their switch to extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography technology for the manufacture of sub-10nm chips, according to industry sources.
The industry was previously anticipated to transition to EUV litho technology beyond 20nm, but the high cost of EUV litho tools has discouraged Samsung and other DRAM chipmakers from pursuing the technology for their 1xnm manufacturing lines, said the sources. The DRAM industry will continue to stick with 193nm immersion lithography with multiple patterning for their 1ynm, and possibly 1znm lines for some of the players, the sources indicated.
Samsung reportedly is now gearing up for its transition to EUV litho technology to make DRAM chips, but It remains to be seen whether SK Hynix and Micron Technology will also make huge investments in EUV tool purchases, the sources said.
In the logic IC field, where Samsung operates its foundry business, the company has disclosed its first-generation 7nm process will adopt EUV litho technology which is slated for launch in 2018.
ASML, the sole developer of EUV litho systems, expects shipments of its EUV litho tools to grow from 12 units in 2017 to 20 in 2018. ASML believes that the chipmaking industry will enter its EUV technology era in 2019.
Globalfoundries, Intel, Samsung, SK Hynix and TSMC are reportedly among the first customers of ASML adopting EUV litho tools.
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