The next big step in chip production is the use of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography. This technology has been in the making for a lot longer than it should be and the chip industry hopes to implement it as soon as possible. EUV is becoming a necessity as traditional immersion lithography is hitting the limits of what's physically possible, but EUV has been a long and hard journey.
A new survey of 75 semiconductor firm executives indicates the industry is now getting a lot more optimistic about EUV. Nearly half of the respondent are confident EUV will be used in high volume manufacturing before 2020 and just one percent believes EUV will never become a viable option.
Especially the latter statistic is interesting to zoom into as skepticism about EUV has been dropping steadily the last couple of years. Just three years ago, there was a lot of doubt about EUV as the road to market introduction seemed to get harder and harder. In the 2014 survey, a whopping 35 percent of respondents indicated EUV would never be used in volume manufacturing.
Chip makers are expected to start using EUV on 7nm nodes in the next few years.