▲ Comparison between technologies for drawing intricate patterns onto wafers: argon fluoride (ArF) based ‘multipatterning’ and EUV. Semiconductor performance and yield can be improved by reduced number of repeated circuit-inscribing multipatterning steps.Securing advanced photolithography process technologies for drawing microscopic circuits onto semiconductor wafers is one way a semiconductor manufacturer can edge out the competition. With semiconductor logic processes recently shrinking beneath the 10nm mark, conventional photolithography processes using argon fluoride (ArF) as a light source have reached their limit. EUV (Extreme Ultra Violet) is a new light source that takes the place of argon fluoride, with just 1/14 the wavelength of ArF. This makes EUV perfect for creating ultra-fine semiconductor circuit patterns. EUV technology helps simply the task of drawing circuits onto wafers. This in turn simplifies the semiconductor chip design process, and also drastically reduces the number of masks needed to draw a circuit. EUV is taking semiconductors into the age of single-digit nano-scale processes. But the transition is more significant than a simple down-scaling of processes. Smaller individual chips means more semiconductor chips on a wafer of a given size, providing the benefits of better semiconductor productivity as well as performance and power efficiency gains. And smaller semiconductors have a better chance of finding their way into a variety of upcoming devices. Samsung Electronics’ progress on ultra-fine processes
▲ Bird’s eye view of the EUV line at Samsung Electronics’ Hwaseong CampusSo just how far along are Samsung Electronics’ ultra-fine process technologies? Samsung announce the launch of 7nm foundry products and development of 5nm processes in April. The company has also distributed design kits for 3nm GAA (Gate-All-Around) processes to fabless customers, taking market leadership in ultra-fine circuit technology development. That wraps up today’s update on the latest ultra-fine semiconductor process trends. Keep your eyes on Samsung Electronics as we expand our ultra-fine process portfolio for semiconductors that will usher in the Quaternary Industrial Revolution.