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Another achievement for EUV

I asked in January, with a degree of uncertainty, whether EUV lithography had finally come of age. I based the question on a number of developments that, together, pointed to EUV making it into mainstream semiconductor production in the next year or so.

Now, another affirmation of EUV’s worth has come from a joint announcement by Samsung Electronics and Qualcomm that the latter’s Snapdragon 5G chipsets will be made on Samsung’s 7nm LPP process, of which EUV plays a part. According to the foundry, it has run more than 200,000 test wafers using EUV, with yields of 256Mbit memories – the test chips – reaching 80%.

7LPP – apparently the first process at Samsung to use EUV – could enter production later this year, but how much of the lithography process relies upon EUV remains to be seen. Samsung claims 7LPP has fewer process steps than are used in its 10nm FinFET process, which suggests EUV is making a contribution.

One way or another, it’s confirmation that EUV has, finally, achieved the performance goals that make it viable.

Graham Pitcher

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