ASML develops high-NA EUV lithography

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ASML, a leading lithography machine maker, has announced the development of high-NA EUV lithography, a new technology that will enable the production of smaller devices with shorter light wavelengths and greater numerical apertures.

High-NA EUV lithography is essential for sustaining Moore’s Law, which states that the number of transistors on a chip doubles every two years. It has been driving computing advancements for the past 50 years. To continue this progress, chipmakers must reduce feature size on chips, and high-NA EUV lithography is a promising solution.

Light wavelength, process-related coefficient k1, and numerical aperture (NA) all have a role in improving photolithography resolution. Shorter wavelengths, bigger NAs, or both can be used to attain smaller critical dimensions. The most recent wavelength is 13.5 nm EUV. A higher mask reflecting angle makes achieving the required NA of 0.55 difficult.

A novel method using an anamorphic lens is devised, but it lowers throughput, making chip fabrication less cost-effective. The first high-NA EUV system, ASML EXE:5000, will be implemented in early 2024, with commercial deployment scheduled for 2025. High-NA EUV is critical for Moore’s Law, and the industry will continue to innovate to develop even better and faster technology.

The sources for this piece include an article in Spectrum.IEEE.

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