TSMC joins in on cutting-edge lithography development

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) has announced that it will be joining an industrial consortium to develop cutting edge lithography processes.

TSMC will be joining in a party known as the EIDEC which will see the firm rubbing shoulders and having nibbles on sticks  with 11 Japanese semiconductor firms funding the group, as well as Samsung and Intel.

Other than indigestion, the consortium will be looking at the development of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography which is seen as the semi industry’s best way for boldly pushing Moore’s Law into the future.

The move means that TSMC will now be part of a move to help bring the technology into general production by the end of 2015, says CENS.

So, as well as giving TSMC the change to cosy up with Japanese integrated device manufacturers (IDMs) the semi producer will be able to stay abreast of its rival Chipzilla in development of the technology and might even sample from its drinks cabinet.

TSMC is currently using double patterning immersion lithography in its 28 nanometre and 40nm chip production, but hopes to keep up with Intel which is looking at the EUV method.

Intel is planning on beginning its own pilot production of the new EUV lithography in 2013, so TSMC will want to make sure it keeps up with developments.

TSMC has reportedly already installed EUV systems purchased from ASML, which it will use to develop the lithography method at its FAB 12 facility in the aim of becoming the first to foundry to provide the chip technology.

The news comes as TSMC recently hinted that it could beat Intel to its much vaunted 3D transistor technology, with an expectation of commercial production by the end of the year.