Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited (TSMC) has successfully exposed more than 1000 wafers on an NXE:3300B EUV system in a single day, an important step towards insertion of EUV lithography in volume production of semiconductors.
"During a recent test run on an NXE:3300B EUV system we exposed 1022 wafers in 24 hours with sustained power of over 90 Watts," said Dr. Anthony Yen, R&D Director, TSMC, at the 2015 SPIE Advanced Lithography Symposium. "We are pleased with this result, as it shows us the potential of the system."
The ASML NXE:3300B system is one of two such systems currently at TSMC, and will be joined by two additional to-be-shipped new NXE:3350B systems. TSMC has stated that it intends to use EUV in production.
"The test run at TSMC demonstrates the capability of the NXE:3300B scanner, and moves us closer to our stated target of sustained output of 1000 wafers per day in 2015," said Hans Meiling, Vice President Service and Product Marketing EUV at ASML. "We must continue to increase source power, improve system availability and show this result at multiple customers over multiple days."
TSMC, the world’s largest chip foundry, also expects to start 10 nanometer production in 2017, when it will have process technology matching that of industry leader Intel.
According to TSMC Director of Corporate Communications Elizabeth Sun, the Taiwanese company will start 10nm production at its existing Taichung, Taiwan site, where the chipmaker will later embark on production at more advanced technology nodes.
TSMC will use immersion lithography tools for 10nm production. However, the company has not yet announced what lithography tools it will use for more advanced nodes.
The company's cooperation with ASML would help TSMC be ready to insert EUV partially to 10nm, mening only in a few critical layers.
The use of EUV for process technology beyond 10nm still depends on whether it will be ready for manufacturing.