Huawei has filed a patent software overlaying an excessive ultraviolet (EUV) lithography scanner, in response to UDN. If the corporate builds such a scanner and achieves respectable productiveness, uptime, and yields, Chinese language chipmakers may produce chips on sub-7nm-class applied sciences. The one query is when.
In mid-November, Huawei filed an software with the State Mental Property Workplace for a patent overlaying an EUV scanner and its key elements. The patent software quantity is 202110524685X, experiences MyDrivers.
The patent software seems to cowl all essential elements of an EUV scanner, together with a 13.5 nm EUV gentle generator (gentle supply), a set of reflecting mirrors, the lithography system, and ‘management administration applied sciences’ (we might speculate that that is how they name metrology), in response to descriptions printed by numerous media sources.
Submitting a patent is just not equal to with the ability to construct an EUV scanner, which is a extremely complicated machine that includes quite a few state-of-the-art elements that need to work completely in live performance and for extended quantities of time. Moreover, even with an EUV software at hand, chipmakers nonetheless have to determine the appropriate pellicles for masks, resists, and plenty of different issues crucial for high-volume manufacturing.
An EUV scanner with a 0.33 numerical aperture is the top of at this time’s semiconductor manufacturing instruments. Quite a few corporations tried to develop such a software, however solely ASML succeeded after over ten years of improvement and with monetary assist from Intel, Samsung, and TSMC. As we speak, Samsung, SK Hynix, and TSMC actively use EUV instruments from ASML, however Intel has but to begin high-volume chip manufacturing utilizing these instruments.
For now, solely Intel, Micron, Samsung, SK Hynix, and TSMC both use or plan to make use of EUV scanners. Furthermore, solely these 5 corporations have developed (or plan to develop) course of applied sciences subtle sufficient to reap the benefits of EUV scanners. In the meantime, China-based SMIC couldn’t get an already procured EUV software to develop its personal EUV-based fabrication course of as a result of Wassenaar association. Subsequently, it’s evident that demand for EUV scanners doubtlessly exists in China, and apparently, Huawei was keen to handle it.
As a world-class high-tech conglomerate with some $100 billion in annual income, Huawei pursues completely different targets and develops many applied sciences. The corporate’s semiconductor manufacturing ambitions are well-known, and they aren’t restricted to chip manufacturing but in addition to constructing wafer fab gear. Huawei’s WFE efforts are advancing fairly nicely as the corporate utilized for a patent overlaying an EUV scanner.