TSMC says ‘good progress’ with EUV

Mark Liu, TSMC’s president and co CEO, said the company is ‘well on track’ with the development of 7nm process technology. If all goes well, this will enter risk production – a pre production phase – early in 2017.

The company is also pressing ahead with nodes beyond that. A 5nm process has moved from pathfinding to technology development – and EUV lithography will be used ‘extensively’ at 5nm, according to Liu. “Recently, our EUV technology development made good progress,” he claimed. “The throughput and reliability of EUV scanners, the sensitivity of EUV photoresist and the quality of EUV mask blank and pellicles all improved. Of course there’s still a way to go.”

EUV has long been regarded as essential if manufacturers are to improve density, simplify manufacturing and reduce cost. However, development problems have kept EUV on the sidelines and, in its absence, manufacturers have resorted to triple – even quadruple – patterning using 193nm immersion lithography.