Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix will adopt next-generation exposure equipment “extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography” to produce memory next year by applying 10-nano ultrafine processes. This is the first attempt to apply EUV lithography, which is being researched and developed, in actual production.
According to the industry on July 26, Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix issued an initial purchase order (PO) to a Dutch company “ASML” to buy 300㎜ EUV lithography.
This purchase order is notable because EUV lithography has yet to be applied in actual production across the world. In particular, the purchase process of EUV lithography is different from the one of other equipment, because EUV lithography is core fabrication equipment.
“If ASML develops the equipment without delays and Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix adopt EUV equipment according to their schedule, the era of 10-nano memory semiconductors will begin next year. EUV equipment will be applied to NAND flash and is anticipated to be adopted for DRAM in the future,” said a source of the industry.
In order to use EUV lithography in actual production, it should be able to treat more than 60 wafers an hour. This is a challenge that ASML has to overcome in developing EUV lithography.
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