ASML – a Dutch company, the largest manufacturer of equipment for the microelectronic industry (manufacture of VLSI, memory chips, flash memory, microprocessors, etc.). ASML equipment is used in different countries, the company has more than 60 service points in 16 countries.
The company is headquartered in Veldhoven, the Netherlands; there are also research and production units. The company is listed on the AEX and NASDAQ under the name ASML.
The company, originally called ASM Lithography, was founded in 1984 as a joint venture between the companies Advanced Semiconductor Materials International (ASMI) and Philips. Currently, only a small fraction of the shares are held by Philips.
With a market capitalization of US $ 153.8 billion (summer 2020), the company sits at the very top of the US NASDAQ-100 Index.
The company works closely with the German company Zeiss, which is its main supplier of optics.The company’s competitors are Canon and Nikon.
ASML corporate building in Veldhoven
ASML lithography machines are used in the production of . In such installations, the process of optical projection of special partially transparent templates (masks) onto the surface of a semiconductor wafer covered with a thin film of a photosensitive material (photoresist) takes place. For each plate, this procedure is repeated several dozen times. After each projection, the plate with the applied photoresist is processed, during which the electronic structures of the microcircuits are formed. The optical method used in ASML installations is currently used for the production of almost all integrated circuits.
ASML became a leading supplier of lithography devices in 2002. As of 2007, ASML has a 65% market share in photolithography equipment sales (worldwide).
For 2008, the top-class ASML Twinscan XT: 1950 could be used with process technology down to 38 nm at speeds up to 131 wafers per hour. The setup uses immersion lithography with a water layer and an argon-fluoride (ArF) excimer laser with a wavelength of 193 nm. At the same time, on average, a lithographic installation cost 22 million euros.
In 2009 ASML develops facilities with 13.5 nm lasers (EUVL). On April 22, 2009, the Belgian research center Imec presented workable CMOS SRAM chips made according to the 22 nm process technology on a prototype ASML setup with EUVL.
The main series of ASML lithographers:
- 1984: PAS 2000, resolution up to 1 μm, positioning accuracy up to 250 nm
- 1989: PAS 5000, resolution about 0.5 μm, accuracy up to 100 nm
- 1990s: PAS 5500, 400-90 nm resolution, 100-12 nm accuracy
- 2000s: TWINSCAN family (NX, NXT), resolution 100-38 nm, accuracy up to 20-2 nm
- 2010s: systems TWINSCAN NXE, resolution 38-19 nm, accuracy better than 3 nm
In Russia, the use of ASML steppers (lithographs) was planned (as of 2008) at the Angstrem-T factory.
Among the Russian users of ASML, NIISI can also be noted, which uses the installation of projection step-by-step animation (stepper) ASML PAS 5500 / 250C.
ASML devices are used at the front line for the production of microcircuits in Zelenograd at the Mikron plant (PAS 5500 / 750F 248 nm / 0.7 120 wafers per hour and PAS / 1150C 193 nm / 0.75 135 wafers per hour)
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