Imec and ASML intensify collaboration with advanced EUV pilot line at Imec' facility
Imec and ASML have signed a MoU to install ASML EUV and other advanced lithography and metrology equipment in the imec pilot line in Leuven, Belgium.
The pilot line to help fabricate prototype chips using latest researched semiconductor technologies. Imec, ASML and in collaboration with other partners to explore novel semiconductor applications, materials in a environmentally sustainable way.
Imec and ASML to collaborate with all leading-edge chipmakers and materials and equipment ecosystem partners, with the goal to prepare the technology for the fastest possible adoption in mass manufacturing. The team also to develop advanced holistic patterning flows in collaboration with the equipment and material ecosystem.
Imec facility to have ASM's latest model 0.55 NA EUV (TWINSCAN EXE:5200), latest models 0.33 NA EUV (TWINSCAN NXE:3800), DUV immersion (TWINSCAN NXT:2100i), Yieldstar optical metrology and HMI multi-beam. The joint imec-ASML High-NA lab is using the first High-NA EUV scanner (TWINSCAN EXE:5000) in phase 1, and in phase 2 it is planned to have High-NA EUV scanner (TWINSCAN EXE:5200) at imec pilot line in Leuven (Belgium).
High-NA technology is enabler for developing advanced AI chips which can solve societal challenges such as drug-invention, protecting nature, sustainable farming, preventing natural and manmade disasters, eliminating plastic, cleantech-automotive, climate change and sustainable energy.
The joint release states "Significant investments are needed to secure industry-broad access to High-NA EUV lithography beyond 2025 and retain the related advanced node process R&D capabilities in Europe."
The release also stated "The intensified collaboration plans on lithography and metrology technology between the two semiconductor players are in line with the ambitions and plans of the European Commission and its member states (Chips Act, IPCEI) in order to strengthen innovation to tackle societal challenges. Part of the collaboration between imec and ASML is therefore captured in an IPCEI proposal which is currently in review by the Dutch government."
“ASML is making a substantial commitment in imec's state-of-the-art pilot fab to support semiconductor research and sustainable innovation in Europe. As artificial intelligence (AI) rapidly expands into domains such as natural language processing, computer vision and autonomous systems, the complexity of tasks escalates. Therefore, it is crucial to develop chip technology that can meet these computational demands without depleting the planet's precious (energy) resources,” said Peter Wennink, President and Chief Executive Officer of ASML.
“This commitment from ASML, which builds on over 30 years of successful collaboration, sends a powerful signal of our unwavering dedication to drive the advancement of sub-nanometer chip technology,” commented Luc Van den hove, President and Chief Executive Officer of imec. “This collaboration serves as a testimonial to the strength that lies in unity within the chip industry. While these projects enable us to fortify our regional strengths initially, they also pave the way for future global cooperation, allowing partners worldwide to benefit from local breakthroughs. It is through these collective efforts that we can truly accelerate innovation and propel the semiconductor industry to new heights.”