Huawei has applied for a patent on an extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography scanner. UDNIf the company builds such a scanner and achieves decent productivity, uptime, and yield, Chinese chip makers will be able to produce chips in sub-7nm class technology. is.
In mid-November, Huawei applied for a patent covering an EUV scanner and its key components with the State Intellectual Property Office.Patent application number reported as 202110524685X my driver.
This patent application appears to cover all important components of an EUV scanner, including a 13.5 nm EUV light generator (light source), a series of reflecting mirrors, a lithography system, and “control management technology” ( Guess how this is done). They call it metrology), according to descriptions published by various media sources.
Applying for a patent is not the same as being able to build an EUV scanner, which is a very complex machine with many state-of-the-art components that must work together to work perfectly for a long time. And even with EUV tools at hand, chip makers still have to find the right pellicle for the masks, resists, and many other things they need for high-volume production.
EUV scanners with a numerical aperture of 0.33 are the pinnacle of today’s semiconductor manufacturing tools. Many companies have attempted to develop such a tool, but only his ASML has been successful after more than a decade of development, with financial backing from Intel, Samsung, and TSMC. Currently, Samsung, SK Hynix, and TSMC are actively using his ASML’s EUV tools, but Intel has yet to start mass production of chips with these tools.
For now, only Intel, Micron, Samsung, SK Hynix, and TSMC use or plan to use EUV scanners. Furthermore, only these five companies have developed (or are planning to develop) process technology advanced enough to utilize EUV scanners. Meanwhile, China-based SMIC did not get access to his EUV tools, which it had already procured, to develop its own EUV-based manufacturing process due to Wassenaar’s arrangement. So it was clear that demand for EUV scanners could exist in China, and Huawei was clearly keen to address it.
As a world-class high-tech conglomerate with annual revenue of approximately $100 billion, Huawei pursues various goals and develops many technologies. The company’s ambitions in semiconductor production are well known, not only in chip production, but also in building wafer fab equipment. Huawei’s WFE efforts are on track as the company filed a patent covering his EUV scanner.