ASML buys maker control equipment for production of 7 nm chips




The Dutch chip equipment manufacturer ASML takes Hermes Microvision Inc. about 100 billion Taiwan dollar, converted 2.75 billion. HMI makes systems for the detection of defects in 7nm-chips and smaller processes, including for ASML’s EUV process.

ASML will integrate the technology of HMI in what it calls its range of ‘holostische lithografie’ approach, which allows the company the entire scanning, measuring, computational lithography and optimize mean in the lithography process. This process will be discussed wafers and ASML makes machines that manufacturers like Intel and TSMC to produce chips. HMI turn makes systems for detecting defects in memory and logic chips, as well as 3D memory chips stacked layers.

With the aid of the error detection and information about the patterning can adjust ASML are machines in order to increase the yields of the chip production, or ensure that the more chips can be produced without defects. The Taiwanese company’s machines are especially designed for complex chips produced on a process of less than 10nm.

In addition, HMI has already technology for the detection of EUV reticle defects. EUV is the successor to the current immersion lithography to make chips on a process of 7 nm and smaller should be used. According to ASML have mass production by starting EUV machines in 2018 and will need help taking the detection of HMI.


The HMI equipment based on e-beam metrology. With the help of electron beams, such as used for electron microscopy, the systems may be relatively quick on nano-scale images of surfaces. With the help of the measurements algorithms can then detect defects on wafers. In the 10nm-optical inspection production is still possible, on a smaller scale is e-beam-control around the corner.

The two companies worked together for two years. According to Peter Wennink, CEO of ASML, the acquisition is the best way to strengthen cooperation. At HMI employs approximately 700 employees and the company has annual sales of approximately 182 million euros. ASML works worldwide 15,000 employees, annual turnover amounted to 6.3 billion euros in 2015.


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