Intel Corp yesterday said it has placed its first order with ASML Holding NV to purchase the semiconductor industry’s first TWINSCAN EXE: 5200 system, as the US chip giant aims to compete with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) in advancing to 2-nanometer process technology.
The Dutch semiconductor equipment maker’s TWINSCAN EXE:5200 system is an extreme ultraviolet (EUV) high-volume production system with a high numerical aperture (NA) that can produce 220 wafers per hour, more than the 150 wafers that its previous generation TWINSCAN EXE:5000 system can handle.
ASML aims to launch the new system in 2024.
ASML president and chief technology officer Martin van den Brink said in a statement that the new system “delivers continued lithographic improvements at reduced complexity, cost, cycle time and energy that the chip industry needs to drive affordable scaling well into the next decade.”
Announcing the deal in a statement, Intel executive vice president and general manager of technology development Ann Kelleher said: “Working closely with ASML, we will harness high-NA EUV’s high-resolution patterning as one of the ways we continue Moore’s Law and maintain our strong history of progression down to the smallest of geometries.”
Intel was the first to purchase the TWINSCAN EXE:5000 system in 2018.
The company said that the new purchase reflects its continued collaboration with ASML and marks the beginning of its production with the new technology in 2025.
TSMC is also likely to buy the TWINSCAN EXE:5200 system and is expected to be the first in the industry to introduce 2-nanometer production, a supply chain source told the Taipei Times yesterday.
“Placing the first order does not mean Intel will be the first to massively produce chips with the tool,” the source said, adding that Intel still has a long way to go before catching up with TSMC in commercializing 2-nanometer technology.
TSMC’s 2-nanometer chips would enter the market in 2025, the firm said, adding that the chips would be the highest-performing chips available.
Separately, ASML yesterday said that it did not expect a factory fire in Germany to disrupt output.
The fire at its Berlin facility early this month was extinguished within two hours, and the company still expects to ship about 55 EUV systems this year, it said.
“We were able to put the fire out in a couple of hours, but still there was significant damage,” ASML chief executive officer Peter Wennink said in a statement. “Because of the hard work and the creativity, we currently believe that we can manage the situation and that we will not see a significant impact on our EUV output in the year 2022.”
Wennink said demand is 40 to 50 percent above the ASML’s maximum capacity, and it would take “two to three years to get a nice balance between supply and demand.”
The firm’s shipments would increase next year, he added.
Additional reporting by Bloomberg
AVOIDING CONFUSION: Passengers are to be able to check in two items of luggage, while the free weight allowance is to be increased to conform with other airlines EVA Airways Corp (長榮航空) yesterday announced that from June 23 it is to adopt a new baggage allowance policy for all passengers with a higher weight limit as it aims to benefit passengers and increase efficiency. The airline currently has a two-system baggage policy: It allows passengers flying to the US and Canada to check in two pieces of baggage with a free weight allowance, while for those flying to Asia, Europe and Oceania there is also a free weight allowance, but no limit on the number of pieces of baggage. From June 23, passengers would be able to check in two
MORE THAN BUZZ: The chip designer said it has received numerous orders from automakers to supply 5G modem chips, as it works to expand beyond smartphones MediaTek Inc (聯發科) yesterday said it would ship the first 5G chips for vehicles to customers in the Asia-Pacific region by the end of the year, as it moves to expand the reach of its 5G chips beyond smartphones. The Hsinchu-based chip designer said it has been developing 5G chips for connected vehicles over the past few years, targeting applications such as telematics and in-vehicle information systems. “We are seeing demand for 5G technology from numerous makers of connected cars, including electric vehicle makers. We have obtained numerous orders from automakers to supply 5G modem chips with highly integrated features,” J.C. Hsu
Qualcomm Inc yesterday said it would maintain its supply chain strategy of sourcing chips from multiple foundry partners, including advanced chips from two major suppliers, to ensure a sufficient chip supply amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Qualcomm is reportedly working with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) and Samsung Electronics Co on advanced products, such as 4-nanometer chips, for its new flagship 5G chips, the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 series. Qualcomm is sourcing chips made by mature technologies from several foundry partners, the company said. Alex Katouzian, general manager of Qualcomm Technologies Inc’s mobile, compute and XR business, told a virtual media briefing that
US DRAM maker Micron Technology Inc is set to install the industry’s most cutting-edge technology — extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography equipment — in its facility in Taichung this year, the company said yesterday. In early preparation for the volume production of 1-gamma nanometer node DRAM, “we plan to introduce EUV tools to our Taichung fab later this year,” Micron president and chief executive officer Sanjay Mehrotra said via video at the Computex trade show in Taipei. Gamma refers to the dimension of half the distance between cells in a DRAM chip. Micron is also looking forward to beginning mass production of its