Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) executives on Thursday said that it would obtain the next version of ASML Holding NV’s most advanced chipmaking tool in 2024.
The tool — called “high-NA EUV” — produces beams of focused light that create the microscopic circuitry on computer chips used in phones, laptops, vehicles and artificial intelligence devices, such as smart speakers.
EUV stands for extreme ultraviolet, the wavelength of light used by ASML’s most advanced machines.
Photo: Tyrone Siu, Reuters
“TSMC will bring in high-NA EUV scanners in 2024 to develop the associated infrastructure and patterning solution needed for customers to fuel innovation,” TSMC senior vice president of research and development Y.J. Mii (米玉傑) said at the company’s technology symposium in Silicon Valley.
Mii did not say when the device, the second generation of extreme ultraviolet lithography tools for making smaller and faster chips, would be used for mass production.
TSMC rival Intel Corp has said it would use the machines in production by 2025 and that it would be the first to receive the machine.
As Intel enters the business of making chips that other companies design, it would be competing with TSMC for those customers.
TSMC senior vice president of business development Kevin Zhang (張曉強) clarified that TSMC would not be ready for production with the new high-NA EUV tool in 2024, but that it would be used mostly for research with partners.
“The importance of TSMC having it in 2024 means they get to the most advanced technology faster,” said TechInsights chip economist Dan Hutcheson, who was at the symposium.
“High-NA EUV is the next major innovation in the technology that will put the chip technology at the lead,” Hutcheson said.
TSMC also gave more details on the technology for its 2-nanometer chips, which it said are on track for volume production in 2025.
TSMC said it has spent 15 years developing so-called “nanosheet” transistor technology to improve speed and power efficiency, and will use it for the first time in its 2-nanometer chips.
Semiconductor stocks on Friday took a beating after a grim profit warning from Idaho-based Micron Technology Inc sparked fresh worries about the US’ earnings power as the country is potentially heading for a recession. Despite a broader stock market rally, the Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index dropped 3.8 percent after Micron, the largest maker of memory semiconductors in the US, flagged that demand was cooling for chips used in computers and smartphones. The index — which is home to US chip giants Advanced Micro Devices Inc and Nvidia Corp, as well as Micron — is down 38 percent this year. Historically, semiconductor
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