There is always some transformation underway in the semiconductor industry. The next move in chip manufacturing seems to be use of Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) lithography for volume production. Semiconductor equipment maker ASML is set to take the lead in EUV based pattern etching both through internal resources and acquired resources.
ASML to acquire all outstanding shares of HMI for approximately EUR 2.75 billion. HMI is expertised in e-beam inspection systems which are specially designed for mask manufacturers to identify pattern defects caused using EUV litho. In EUV, masks are more prone to defects over the continuous exposure. The high resolution metrology tools and computational lithography to help achieve the good quality chip production yield. ASML to leverage this business acquisition to speed up the ASML’s EUV platform launch for volume production of semiconductors starting in 2018. Intel, Samsung, TSMC and Globalfoundries and other leading fabs are waiting for EUV to save them from multiple pattering mask costs and also move to nodes smaller than 7nm.
Combined solutions of ASML and HMI also to address the challenges in 3D IC integration, which requires very dense, high resolution metrology to measure and control device performance.