Continuing its long-term lithography technology partnership, TSMC is to take delivery of a TWINSCAN NXE:3100 EUV lithography system from ASML. Although pricing and delivery dates were not disclosed, TSMC said it would you the system for future advanced process node development, which is being conducted at its Fab 12 facility. ASML has now secured six customers for its EUV R&D tool. First shipments to some its customers could start in 2010. TSMC is also pursing e-beam lithography for future nodes, due to the inherent costs associated with EUV technology. A volume production EUV tool could cost in excess of US$50 million, according to market research firms.
“TSMC will use a TWINSCAN NXE:3100 for research and development of future advanced technology nodes,” said Dr. Shang-yi Chiang, TSMC Senior Vice President of Research & Development. “EUV is one of next-generation lithography technologies we are investigating. Working with this system is in line with our objective of maintaining advanced technology leadership. At the same time, this agreement reinforces our historic commitment to investing in the innovative European semiconductor community which, through ASML and others, will play a pivotal role in our process technology development in the future.”
TSMC expects to be the first foundry to have a EUV tool. Intel has one of only a few EUV tools currently built and shipped by Nikon.
“With an NXE:3100 for TSMC, ASML is now providing EUV systems to all major segments of the chip making industry: Logic, DRAM and NAND flash memory, and Foundry,” said Martin van den Brink, ASML’s executive vice president and chief product & technology officer. “We look forward to continuing our long relationship with TSMC by providing them the best possible technology for making the chips of tomorrow.”
In August 2006 ASML shipped the industry’s first full-field EUV exposure tools. One EUV ADT was installed at IMEC in Leuven, Belgium and another at CNSE in Albany, New York, USA.