Chip production equipment maker ASML revealed that TSMC plans to order two extreme ultraviolet (EUV) scanners next year to prepare for 7nm production. Intel on the other hand stated earlier this year that it plans to reach 7nm without using the long-delayed EUV technology. ASML claims TSMC may be able to start production at 7nm as early as 2018.
“The EUV scanners are for 10 nanometers,” said ASML executive vice president Frits van Hout in an interview on the sidelines of a TSMC event on Dec. 4. “They’re going to use them to prepare for production in 7 nanometers.”
TSMC spokesperson Elizabeth Sun declined to comment.
The shift toward EUV may signal a switch in the conventional wisdom on the next generation of lithography equipment. The earlier expectation was for chipmakers to use traditional immersion lithography for production of 10 nm chips instead of the long-delayed EUV systems.