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To EUV, or not to EUV, that is the question!

To EUV, or not to EUV, that is the question!
by Daniel Nenni on 02-19-2016 at 4:00 pm

 SPIE is next week so if you would like to meet me in person that is where I will be. SPIE is the big lithography and patterning conference for semiconductor professionals. Since I work with the foundries during my day job, SPIE is an important conference. SemiWiki blogger Scott Jones will also be there. During the day Scott does semiconductor costing and pricing models so this is a big event for him too.

This year the hot topic is EUV of course. As we get closer to 7nm and 5nm the pressure is really on because the window of EUV opportunity is closing quickly. It will also be interesting to see what the different camps are doing (Intel, TSMC, Samsung, GlobalFoundries). The most recent news has GlobalFoundries and SUNY Poly working together on a $500M R&D program in upstate New York. IBM and Tokyo Electron are also part of this deal.

I find this interesting for several reasons. First and foremost, it is part of Governor Cuomo’s commitment to maintaining New York State’s global leadership in nanotechnology research and development. Semiconductors are critical to our infrastructure and national security so it is nice to see a politician acknowledge the importance of R&D. The current presidential candidates seem to have missed this very important detail. If you want to make America great again you had better include semiconductors in your platform, right?

“GLOBALFOUNDRIES is committed to an aggressive research roadmap that continually pushes the limits of semiconductor technology. With the recent acquisition of IBM Microelectronics, GLOBALFOUNDRIES has gained direct access to IBM’s continued investment in world-class semiconductor research and has significantly enhanced its ability to develop leading-edge technologies,” said Dr. Gary Patton, CTO and Senior Vice President of R&D at GLOBALFOUNDRIES. “Together with SUNY Poly, the new center will improve our capabilities and position us to advance our process geometries at 7nm and beyond.”

This also tells me that GlobalFoundries is still committed to leading edge process development. Did you notice that Gary Patton did not mention 10nm? During my visit to Malta last fall I strongly suggested GF skip 10nm and go straight to 7nm. There has been no official announcement but do not be surprised if you see one coming soon because 10nm will be the next 20nm (short life node), absolutely.

The other thing I’m interested in next week is learning more about EUV and the different implementations. Clearly Intel, TSMC, Samsung, and GlobalFoundries are not sharing EUV techniques, or are they sharing through ASML? Does anybody know the answer to this? Clearly Intel will focus EUV (pun intended) on their microprocessor business. But will that implementation also be used for Intel SoCs and FPGAs? How about Memory? Will Samsung use EUV for memory and SoCs? And which one of TSMC’s many customers will benefit the most from EUV? How about Apple? Will EUV have the throughput required for the many millions of Apple SoCs?

Inquiring minds want to know!

More articles from Daniel Nenni

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