Oberkochen, Germany | 1 December 2020 | ZEISS Group
At the Digital Summit of the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), which took place in an entirely virtual format for the first time yesterday and today, representatives from politics, business, science and society exchanged views on the latest developments in the field of digitalization. This year, the Digital Summit focused on the topic of “More Sustainability by Means of Digitisation.”
Traditionally, summit highlights include the exhibits, which are presented to Chancellor Angela Merkel during a tour. ZEISS was selected to give a technology presentation during this year's virtual tour: Dr. Karl Lamprecht, President & CEO of the ZEISS Group, presented EUV technology, an innovation “made in Germany,” which received the German Federal President's Award for Technology and Innovation (Deutscher Zukunftspreis) last week, to the Chancellor. EUV technology represents the latest in chip manufacturing technology using extreme ultraviolet light (EUV). “With EUV, we are advancing digitalization. We are enabling major progress in both the miniaturization and energy efficiency of chips, and hence of digital devices and infrastructure,” explained Lamprecht. The virtual tour, presented by Tagesschau newsreader Judith Rakers, was broadcast this year via livestream, just like the entire Digital Summit.
EUV stands for “extreme ultraviolet,” i.e. light with an extremely short wavelength, which is used in semiconductor production to create extremely fine chip structures on wafers. In the lithography process, circuit paths just five nanometers wide ‒ five thousand times thinner than a human hair ‒ are laid down on state-of-the-art chips. Far more powerful, energy-efficient and cost-effective microchips can be produced than ever before with this extremely high-resolution technology. Successful digitalization would be impossible without a significant increase in computing power: Today, a smartphone has a million times more computing power than the computer that accompanied the first Moon landing in 1969. This is made possible by a microchip barely the size of a fingertip, which, in the latest chips, contains around sixteen billion transistors. This future-proof technology, which is protected by over 2,000 patents, forms the basis for future technical progress and the digitalization of our everyday lives. It is an example of the technological and economic value added that can be achieved through cooperation, a spirit of research and sustainable commitment.
ZEISS has created an optical system for the EUV lithography machine, which is only available from ZEISS' strategic partner, ASML. The system is made up of mirrors that are held precisely in place in a vacuum. The system had to be completely redesigned because conventional lens systems and even air can absorb EUV light. “If a laser beam were deflected via one of these EUV mirrors and directed towards the Moon, it would be possible to hit a golf ball on the lunar surface,” explained Lamprecht to the Chancellor, who personally examined an EUV mirror. The presentation illustrated how a microchip is exposed to EUV light, the milestones of miniaturization, and the impact of the technology on computing power, sustainability and environmental protection.
The two-day summit also included presentations, discussion forums and panels that various expert groups had developed over the year. Dr. Karl Lamprecht was involved in the program on the topic of “Innovative Digitisation of the Economy” with a presentation on approaches for greater energy efficiency in chips and IT infrastructure.
The Digital Summit is the central platform for cooperation between politics, business, science and society in shaping digital change. It reflects digitalization in all its aspects and involves both providers and users, from Industry 4.0 to the cultural and creative industries. The summit is organized along ten platforms that address important fields of action in the course of digitalization and develop concrete projects. The aim is for digital change to be shaped and further developed together with IT manufacturers and users, the scientific community, social partners and social groups.
ZEISS is an internationally leading technology enterprise operating in the fields of optics and optoelectronics. In the previous fiscal year, the ZEISS Group generated annual revenue totaling more than 6.4 billion euros in its four segments Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology, Industrial Quality & Research, Medical Technology and Consumer Markets (status: 30 September 2019).
For its customers, ZEISS develops, produces and distributes highly innovative solutions for industrial metrology and quality assurance, microscopy solutions for the life sciences and materials research, and medical technology solutions for diagnostics and treatment in ophthalmology and microsurgery. The name ZEISS is also synonymous with the world's leading lithography optics, which are used by the chip industry to manufacture semiconductor components. There is global demand for trendsetting ZEISS brand products such as eyeglass lenses, camera lenses and binoculars.
With a portfolio aligned with future growth areas like digitalization, healthcare and Smart Production and a strong brand, ZEISS is shaping the future of technology and constantly advancing the world of optics and related fields with its solutions. The company's significant, sustainable investments in research and development lay the foundation for the success and continued expansion of ZEISS' technology and market leadership.
With over 31,000 employees, ZEISS is active globally in almost 50 countries with around 60 sales and service companies, 30 production sites and 25 development sites. Founded in 1846 in Jena, the company is headquartered in Oberkochen, Germany. The Carl Zeiss Foundation, one of the largest foundations in Germany committed to the promotion of science, is the sole owner of the holding company, Carl Zeiss AG.
Further information at www.zeiss.com