TSMC starts production of 7nm chips with euv machines in March

Feb

12

2019

TSMC plans to start the volume production of its CLN7FF + node in March. This is the second generation of production for 7nm chips, with the Taiwan manufacturer using euv machines from ASML.

Sources within the Taiwanese tech industry report to DigiTimes that the volume production of the improved 7nm node, which the company calls CLN7FF +, starts at the end of March. This is the production on a significant scale for customers, which often coincides or is followed by mass production. It is the first chip generation that TSMC will use euv machines for. According to DigiTimes, this year, TSMC will accept eighteen of the thirty euv machines supplied by ASML.

TSMC already makes chips on a 7nm production process, and does so for AMD and Apple, among other things, but it now only uses its machines for immersion lithography. The limits of this technique have come into view and chip manufacturers have to use several expensive patterning steps for the latest generation of chips, where the critical layers of wafers are exposed several times. With the switch to euv this can be done in a single exposure. TSMC will initially use euv lithography to apply structures to a few critical layers of the chips.

At the next node, for 5nm chips, the company will use more layers. The risk production for 5nm must start in the second quarter. The volume production follows in the first half of 2020. TSMC’s competitor Samsung started using euv for its 7nm process last October .

TSMC Taiwan Fab

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