A Russian laboratory is developing a proprietary lithography scanner that can manufacture chips using 7nm-class manufacturing technology. This machine is currently in development and we plan to build it by 2028. When ready, it will be more efficient than ASML’s Twinscan NXT:2000i tool, which took him over a decade to develop.
After Russia launched a bloody war against Ukraine on February 24, Taiwan swiftly banned shipments of advanced chips to the country. Subsequently, the US, UK, and EU implemented sanctions that effectively barred virtually all contract chipmakers with advanced fabs from working with Russian entities. Additionally, companies like Arm cannot license their technology to Russian-based chip designers. As a result, the Russian government has launched a national program to develop its own 28nm-class manufacturing technology by 2030, reverse engineer as many foreign-made chips as possible, and educate local talent to work on domestic chips. was expanded.
However, the 28nm-class production node by 2030 is problematic. Russia’s leading-edge fabs can produce chips using 65nm manufacturing technology. Meanwhile, US and European fab tool makers cannot supply equipment to Russia due to sanctions, so if Russia wants to adopt his 28nm node, Russia will have to design and build domestic wafer fab equipment. Essentially, what took companies like ASML and Applied Materials decades to develop and iterate should be done in about eight years.
Apparently, the Russian Institute of Applied Physics of the Russian Academy of Sciences has surpassed all expectations and intends to manufacture a 7nm capable lithography scanner by 2028. Strategic development of Nizh Novgorod website (via C-news).
A modern lithography scanner capable of processing wafers using 7nm-class process technology is a highly complex system that includes high-performance light sources, sophisticated optics, and precise metrology, just to name a few key components. is. However, as a leading Russian university of applied physics, IAP believes that such tools can be developed in a relatively short period of time.
This tool is somewhat different from scanners manufactured by companies such as ASML and Nikon. For example, the IAP plans to use a light source >600 W (total power, not intermediate focus power) at an exposure wavelength of 11.3 nm (EUV wavelength is 13.5 nm). This would require optics that are considerably more advanced than today. The device’s light source will be relatively low-power, making the tool more compact and easier to build. However, it also means that the production of scanners will be considerably lower than that of modern deep ultraviolet (DUV) tools. According to IAP, it may not matter.
IAP may be a little too optimistic when it comes to timing. For all sub-32nm devices, the chipmaker uses so-called immersion lithography (which is essentially a booster for his DUV tools). ASML introduced The first immersion lithography system, the Twinscan XT:1250i, will be announced in late 2003, with production of 65nm logic chips and 70nm half-pitch DRAM planned for Q3 2004.It took the company about five years and using another generation of tools publication The 32nm Twinscan NXT:1950i was launched in late 2008 and began shipping to customers in 2009.
After that, it took about nine years for the market leader to offer products for 7nm and 5nm. Twin Scan NXT:2000i DUV TSMC used less advanced tools with multi-patterning for its first-generation N7 manufacturing technology, but the timing of ASML’s introduction shows how difficult the transition from 65nm to 7nm will be. It took ASML 14 years to move from 65nm to 7nm. IAP, which currently has no experience in chip production or relationships with chip makers, plans to build a 7nm capable machine for mass production from scratch in about six years. The plan doesn’t seem viable, but the IAP seems enthusiastic.
“ASML, a world leader in lithography, has been developing EUV lithography systems for almost 20 years, but the technology has proven to be incredibly complex due to the advancement of science and technology.” The main purpose of ASML in the case was to maintain a very high productivity, which is required only in the largest factories in the world, in Russia no one needs such a high productivity In our work, we start with the needs and tasks faced by domestic factories: microelectronics — this is a matter of quality, not quantity. You have to develop your own tools, engineering, and materials, so you need your own path here.
IAP plans to build a fully functional alpha scanner by 2024. This doesn’t have to offer high productivity or maximum resolution, but it should work and be attractive to potential investors. IAP plans to build beta scanners with higher productivity and resolution by 2026. The machine should be ready for mass production, but its productivity is not expected to be at its maximum. The final version of the Lithoscanner is said to appear in his 2028. You should get better light sources (and therefore more productivity), better measurements, and overall functionality. It is not known how many such machines IAP or its production partners will be able to produce by 2028.
It should be noted that fab equipment is not limited to lithography scanners. There are other types of machines performing etching, deposition, resist stripping, metrology and inspection operations that are not manufactured in Russia. In addition, there are less advanced machines, such as equipment for the production of ultra-pure air and water, which are not produced in Russia. Even if IAP RAS manages to build lithography his tools, Russia still lacks hundreds of tools to build a modern fab. Fabs also require ultra-pure raw materials produced in countries that do not supply Russia.