Intel and ASML Achieve Major First Light Milestone to Create State-of-the-Art Chip Manufacturing Tool

by alex

ASML and Intel said the latter has achieved significant success with ASML's latest High-NA lithography system by turning on the light source and making sure the light hits the substrate. This indicates that the light source and mirrors are aligned correctly, a critical step in the growing process. First Light indicates that one of the core components of the Twinscan EXE:5000 system is working, although not yet at peak performance.

Intel is currently assembling its first lithography machine, the Twinscan EXE:5000, at its plant near Hillsboro, Oregon. The machine will be used primarily for process development when it is assembled in a few months, reports Tom’s Hardware.

ASML is still calibrating the High-NA tool in the Netherlands, so the machine has yet to print the first test samples. During a recent test, the Veldhoven machine successfully demonstrated its capabilities on a silicon wafer prepared with photoresistors, indicating its readiness for printed circuit printing. This achievement, called the “First Light on a Wafer”, marks a significant step forward in the field of high-absorption UV lithography.

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Over the next few years, leading chip manufacturers, including Intel, Samsung and TSMC, are expected to move to high-resolution ultraviolet lithography. Intel has already expressed intentions to use this system for the future generation of chips based on Intel 14A nodes.

The light source is one of the most challenging parts of any extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography tool. Neither ASML nor Intel disclose the maximum power of the Twinscan EXE light source.

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