back to article Canon claims its nanoimprint litho machines capable of 5nm chip production

When it comes to producing the most advanced chips, Dutch semiconductor manufacturing equipment maker ASML has had the market on lock. However, fresh lithography tech from Canon may soon challenge that position. On Friday, the Japanese multinational, best known for its high-end camera systems, announced a nanoimprint …

  1. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    "I would be surprised"

    Well, you're Gartner.

    You must be used to being surprised.

    And that doesn't keep you from hedging your bets, stating that if indeed it was a breakthrough, it would soon find itself under sanctions list.

    Well duh. The usual pony show at Gartner.

    I'm sure that there will soon be a "report" from Gartner, paid by some Canon-favorable company, that will gush praise over this new breakthrough.

    Let's just wait for it.

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      Re: "I would be surprised"

      Have Gartner ever commented on...

      Fusion Power, Aliens from another world visiting us? Probably no different to the standard output

      1. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

        Re: "I would be surprised"

        As in magic quadrants ?

  2. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

    Whats the difference between Gartner and Twitter ?

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      One you pay a lot of money for and the other is free.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      One has people talking a load of bollocks and the other is. Oh wait. They're the same.

  3. An_Old_Dog Silver badge

    Bit of an Aside, But ...

    ... tech is one place where mealy-mouthed euphemisms do not belong. Marketing/spin-control PR flacks say and write "Extreme UltraViolet (EUV)" when plainly and truthfully, it is "x-ray". They do this because they think "x-rays sound scary." And the entire industry laps up and regurgitates the language-blurring euphemisms.

    1. david 12 Silver badge

      Re: Bit of an Aside, But ...

      It's getting up there, but has anybody reached 30pHz with EUV?

      The terminology is a perfectly logical progression: UV, deep UV, ultra UV, Extreme Ultra UV, and certainly when Extreme Ultra UV was introduced, it was still well below the frequency / energy level generally accepted as the start of "x-rays".

      1. Terje

        Re: Bit of an Aside, But ...

        I'm not quite sure what 30 pico Hz would qualify as, supposedly it's radio all the way down, but I think that would be stretching it for something with that long wavelength...

    2. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: Bit of an Aside, But ...

      When you are at a hospital, they might use an x-ray machine to figure out what is wrong with you. If, instead, they used an extreme ultraviolet machine, would you feel as comfortable with the procedure?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bit of an Aside, But ...

      EUV covers the wavelength range from 121 nm down to 10 nm. X-rays are 10 nm and below.

      Nothing to do with marketing, simply the extreme end of the UV wavelength range (10-400 nm).

  4. Roland6 Silver badge

    “ a mask imprinted with a circuit design”

    Be interested in more details about how Canon creates the mask.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: “ a mask imprinted with a circuit design”

      Obviously they imprint it from the same revolutionary Canon nano-something-something machine

    2. Bitsminer Silver badge

      Re: “ a mask imprinted with a circuit design”

      With lasers. On sharks.

    3. MJB7

      Re: “ a mask imprinted with a circuit design”

      The boring answer is almost certainly electron beams. Cutting very fine details with an electron beam has been possible for ages (I think that's how existing masks are made). The problem for chip lithography is that electron beam is _slow_ (you only cut one bit at a time). An optical mask can cover the whole chip in one go.

    4. Howard Sway Silver badge

      Re: “ a mask imprinted with a circuit design”

      You put the circuit design face down on the photocopier, close the lid and press the big green button. Then take the piece of paper that comes out and cut away all the black bits with a pair of scissors.

  5. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    If anyone can, Canon can

    Let's wait and see

  6. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    Low Ink

    Changing the ink cartridges every 12 wafers must cut into production rates.

  7. DS999 Silver badge

    One thing missing from their announcement

    Achieved defect rates compared to standard photolithography. If those suck but their stuff is a lot cheaper they can compare based on cost per good chip of x size.

    Instead they just announced their stuff with nothing said about whether it is actually production worthy. It sounds like they want someone else to take a flyer and buy a few of their machines to put in a research fab and figure out the issues Canon has obviously been unable to. Because if they had there would have been detailed information made public to show why these are better (or at least "as good as") current photolithography technology.

    1. Lurko

      Re: One thing missing from their announcement

      Given that it's new tech, I think we'd reasonably expect it to have higher costs and/or lower yields at this stage. For minor tech developments you can reasonably ask "is it better than what we've got now?", but for anything that's genuinely novel the correct question is "does this have the potential to be better in future than current and competing technologies will be in future?"

  8. Conundrum1885


    Its 'vacuum ultraviolet'

    The chip machines actually run in a vacuum to do their magic, and the light source is a highly parallel beam. Not a laser but pretty close.

    Interestingly I looked into using uvc leds with an off the shelf monochrome LCD as a microimaging device for homemade chips. They are cheap and sone even have a lens built in.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like