Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. today announced that it has completed all process technology development and has started wafer production of its revolutionary process node, 7LPP, the 7-nanometer (nm) LPP (Low Power Plus) with extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography technology. The introduction of 7LPP is a clear demonstration of Samsung Foundry’s technology roadmap evolution and provides customers with a definite path to 3nm.
The commercialization of its newest process node, 7LPP gives customers the ability to build a full range of exciting new products that will push the boundaries of applications such as 5G, Artificial Intelligence, Enterprise and Hyperscale Datacenter, IoT, Automotive, and Networking.
“With the introduction of its EUV process node, Samsung has led a quiet revolution in the semiconductor industry,” said Charlie Bae, executive vice president of foundry sales and marketing team at Samsung Electronics. “This fundamental shift in how wafers are manufactured gives our customers the opportunity to significantly improve their products’ time to market with superior throughput, reduced layers, and better yields. We’re confident that 7LPP will be an optimal choice not only for mobile and HPC, but also for a wide range of cutting-edge applications.”
The characteristics and benefits of EUV technology
EUV uses 13.5nm wavelength light to expose silicon wafers as opposed to conventional argon fluoride (ArF) immersion technologies that are only able to achieve 193nm wavelengths and require expensive multi-patterning mask sets. EUV enables the use of a single mask to create a silicon wafer layer where ArF can require up to 4 masks to create that same layer. Consequently Samsung’s 7LPP process can reduce the total number of masks by about 20% compared to non-EUV process, enabling customers to save time and cost.
The EUV lithography improvements also deliver increased performance, lower power and smaller area while improving design productivity by reducing multi-patterning complexity. Compared to its 10nm FinFET predecessors, Samsung’s 7LPP technology not only greatly reduces the process complexity with fewer layers and better yields, but also delivers up to a 40% increase in area efficiency with 20% higher performance or up to 50% lower power consumption.
The road to EUV technology
Since Samsung’s research and development in EUV began in the 2000s, the company has made outstanding progress through collaborative partnerships with industry-leading tool providers to design and install completely new equipment in its manufacturing facilities to ensure the stability of EUV wafers. The initial EUV production has started in Samsung’s S3 Fab in Hwaseong, Korea.
By 2020, Samsung expects to secure additional capacity with a new EUV line for customers who need high-volume manufacturing for next-generation chip designs. As an EUV pioneer, Samsung has also developed proprietary capabilities such as a unique mask inspection tool that performs early defect detection in EUV masks, allowing those defects to be eliminated early in the manufacturing cycle.
“Commercialization of EUV technology is a revolution for the semiconductor industry and will have a huge impact on our everyday lives,” said Peter Jenkins, vice president of corporate marketing at ASML. “It is our great pleasure to collaborate with Samsung and other leading chip makers on this fundamental shift in semiconductor process manufacturing.”
7nm LPP EUV Ecosystem
The Samsung Advanced Foundry Ecosystem™ is also fully prepared for the introduction of 7LPP with EUV. Ecosystem partners across the industry will be providing Foundation and Advanced IP, Advanced Packaging, and Services to fully enable Samsung customers to develop their products on this new platform. From high-performance and high-density standard cells to HBM2/2e memory interfaces and 112G SerDes interfaces, SAFE™ is ready to help customers implement their designs on 7LPP.