ASML’s New Lithography System Reaches First Light

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ASML’s High NA EUV tools are expected to enable new generations of smaller, faster chips.

ASML, a Dutch semiconductor equipment maker, has achieved a significant milestone with its new High NA EUV lithography system, reaching ‘first light’ indicating that the tool is functioning, although not at full performance. 

This was first mentioned by Ann Kelleher, the head of technology development at Intel, during a talk at the SPIE lithography conference in San Jose. An ASML spokesperson has confirmed that the first light milestone was reached very recently.

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ASML’s High NA EUV tools, which are as large as a double-decker bus and cost over $350 million each, are expected to enable new generations of smaller, faster chips. The first High NA tool is located at ASML’s laboratory in Veldhoven, Netherlands, and the second is being assembled at an Intel plant near Hillsboro, Oregon.

Advanced chipmakers such as TSMC and Samsung are anticipated to adopt the tool within the next five years. Intel has announced its intention to use the tool in production for its 14A generation of chips. During her talk, Kelleher mentioned that the Veldhoven machine has been used in a test on a silicon wafer treated with light-sensitive chemicals, preparing it to receive a circuit pattern.

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