You’ve mentioned EUV lithography a couple of times – why is it so important?
Lithography is a printing process invented in the late 1700s. Today, we use it in many applications, one of which is manufacturing semiconductors.
Until EUV lithography was developed, we used so-called 193 nanometer lithography. Without going too much into the technical details, what this essentially means is that we can now use light of a shorter wavelength to generate a structure on a wafer.
To understand why this is relevant, we need to look at a productivity driver the world has been enjoying for the past 50 years: Moore’s Law. Every two years or so, the computing and storage power of semiconductors has doubled. We have taken this law for granted since the 1970s, and it has made humanity increasingly productive during that time. But Moore’s Law would now come to a halt if our industry had not successfully developed EUV lithography. Without this technology, the world as we know it – with new and more powerful computers every two years – would have come to an end.