Samsung accelerates the development of 6-nanometer technology
According to the source, based on the messages the South Korean media, Samsung Electronics revises schedule for the development of technologies of semiconductor production in order to approach the beginning of production according to the norms of 6 nm. Allegedly now Samsung expects to begin mass production of 6-nanometer chips in the second half of 2019. Earlier in the year 2019 was scheduled only a trial edition.
Reason for Samsung to accelerate, called the lag from TSMC, which is developing the 7-nanometer process technology. Offering 6 nm alternative, Samsung will be able to compete with TSMC for orders for Qualcomm and Apple. A month ago it was reported that Qualcomm be ordered 7-nanometer SoC, not Samsung, and TSMC. The serial production according to the norms of 7 nm in TSMC expects to begin in early 2018.
Note that at this stage, TSMC uses immersion lithography, but has been developing improved versions of the 7-nanometer technology with the use of lithography in the hard ultraviolet range (EUV). This version should be ready for mass production in 2019.
Samsung also is betting on EUV. Until the end of the year the South Korean manufacturer expects to install two machines ASML, intended for EUV-lithography, and next year — seven. This equipment enables you to learn the rules 7, 6 and 5 nm.
Note that, most likely, we are talking about scanners ASML 3400B, deliveries of which began in the spring. This is the first EUV-ASML scanner, suitable for mass production, because its design capacity is 125 plates per hour. The first copies were provided for the processing of 104 wafers per hour because they include a radiation source with a power of 148 watts. For performance 125 wafers per hour required 250 watts of power and is the source of such power ASML showed last week.