Dutch lithography system maker ASML announced it's quarterly results and revealed it shipped three Twinscan NXE:3400B extreme ultraviolet (EUV) machines in Q3 2017. These machines are ASML's second-generation EUV production systems, they're intended to make 7nm and 5nm chips.
This brings this year's total to six and the company also hit another important milestone: it demonstrated that its EUV pellicle can withstand 250W of EUV power.
ASML currently has a backlog of 23 EUV systems, down versus the 27 systems at the end of Q2 2017:
ASML said it currently has a backlog of 23 EUV systems, down from a backlog of 27 systems at the end of the second quarter. The company said it also demonstrated during the second quarter that its EUV pellicle — which protects the photomask from particles during exposure — is capable of withstanding 250 watts of EUV power, another important milestone in the development of EUV.
EUV is the next big step in semiconductor manufacturing, the currently used immersion lithography is hitting the limits of what's physically possible. EUV faced may years of delays, with some industry experts even fearing that it would never become viable. Those fears have now passed, EUV finally seems ready to enter mass production and that's a good thing as there's no alternative.
Samsung and TSMC are expected to be the first foundries to adopt EUV, they're planning to adopt the technology in 2018.