Insight into the manufacturing process of ZEISS SMT lithography optics
Inspiring Technology

Light for the digital age

With precision for digitalization

Enabling the technologies of tomorrow today

Our everyday lives are becoming more and more digital: data is transmitted in record time via fiber optics and 5G, we travel with greater ease from A to B in self-driving cars, better results faster thanks to artificial intelligence... All this puts huge pressure on the computing capacity and performance of IT systems – and the semiconductor industry faces the challenge of producing ever smaller, more powerful and energy-efficient computer chips. ZEISS faces these challenges. We enable chip manufacturers around the world with high-precision optics in the nanometer sector for semiconductor production, for the technology of tomorrow, for the digitization of our everyday lives.

Heartbeat of digitalization

Immerse yourself now in the fascination of the SMT world

Digitalization, where it all started

Supercomputer "Cray1"

Supercomputer "Cray-1"

Supercomputers even fit in your pocket now.

Let's jump back to 1976. "Cray-1" – the first supercomputer, the size of a car weighing 5.5 tons – was able to solve 160 million mathematical operations per second. High-speed by the standards of the time. Modern smartphones easily manage that a hundred times faster – and the trend is rising. The original supercomputer now fits in your pocket – also thanks to the lithography optics from ZEISS SMT.

Moore's Law

Pacesetter for digitalization

In 1965 – eleven years before Cray-1 – an article by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore appeared in the magazine "Electronics". His statement on the future development of memory devices based on transistors became known as Moore's Law:

Portrait image of Gordon Moore

The number of transistors that fit into a fixed-size integrated circuit doubles approximately every two years.

Moore's Law according to Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel

Moore's Law continues

More than half a century later, Moore's Law rolls on – and there is no end in sight. ZEISS sets the pace when it comes to pushing the boundaries of what is technologically feasible and continuing to write Gordon Moore's law.

Ein Laserstrahl zeigt Strukturen eines Mikrochips auf

Push the limits

In the beginning there was light. At the end, the technology of the future.

Precise optics and innovations have been an integral part of the ZEISS genetic code since it was founded in 1846. Our technology can be found in microscopes, cameras and medical equipment all over the world. Often not obvious at first glance. If you are reading this text on a modern smartphone, the microchips in it were probably created with optics from ZEISS SMT. After all, around 80 percent of all microchips worldwide are manufactured with lithography systems from our strategic partner ASML and ZEISS SMT optics.

The semiconductor industry supports the production of microchips

Optical Lithography

Countless "grains of sand" are transformed in a high-precision process to produce microchips. The key ingredients: light, silicon wafers and the world's most precise mirrors in projection optics for ZEISS SMT's production of semiconductors.

Employees in a clean room working on a DUV product

Resolution and precision

With wavelengths in the range of "deep ultraviolet light" (DUV light) of 365, 248 and 193 nanometers, microchips are created with DUV technology.

An employee works on an EUV illumination system from ZEISS SMT

The next technological breakthrough

Extreme ultraviolet light – with a wavelength of 13.5 nanometers and precise alignment through mirrorblocks. EUV is the next technological breakthrough in photolithography.

Two associates of ZEISS SMT working in the clean room on the High-NA-EUV lithography

More light for even more details

With the further development of EUV lithography to High-NA-EUV lithography, the number of structures that can be imaged optically on a microchip will be tripled. The basis for continuing Moore's Law beyond the year 2030.

A person holds a globe in their hand and gains insights into the market for semiconductor technology

Strength in Numbers

ZEISS SMT works with a strong network of more than 1,200 partners. A strategic partnership is forged with ASML, the Dutch and world's largest manufacturer of wafer steppers and wafer scanners.

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