TSMC claims it has the capability to develop its A16 chip-making technology without relying on ASML’s latest machine

TSMC to Develop Chip Manufacturing Technology A16 Without ASML’s Next-Generation EUV Tools: Should the Industry Follow Suit?

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is currently developing a new chip manufacturing technology called A16, which is set to be released in 2027. During a conference in Amsterdam, executive Kevin Zhang revealed that they may not need to use ASML’s next-generation “High NA EUV” machines for this project. The High NA lithography tools are designed to help reduce chip designs significantly, but the higher cost involved must be considered, along with the reliability of older technology.

Zhang expressed interest in the technology but raised concerns about the high cost associated with it, stating that the price tag is a drawback. However, it is still uncertain whether the A16 plants will be designed to accommodate this technology. TSMC is currently the largest user of ASML’s regular EUV machines and adopting the new High NA tools would involve a significant investment.

ASML, as Europe’s largest tech firm, holds dominance in the market for lithography systems that are crucial in creating the circuitry of chips. While lithography is just one of many technologies used by chipmakers to enhance chips, it plays a crucial role in determining how small the features on a chip can be—smaller features lead to faster and more energy-efficient chips.

Recently, Intel announced that it had successfully assembled one of ASML’s new High NA EUV lithography tools. This achievement is part of Intel’s efforts to surpass its competitors and stay ahead in the industry. The new High NA tools are expected to cost more than 350 million euros each, a significant increase from the 200 million euros price tag of ASML’s regular EUV machines. The debate continues on whether the benefits of the new technology outweigh the cost involved in upgrading chip manufacturing processes to incorporate it.

In conclusion, while TSMC may not need ASML’s next-generation “High NA EUV” machines for their A16 project, adoption of this technology would require significant investment and consideration of its benefits versus costs. AsASML continues to dominate

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