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What we do

Our customers include all of the world's leading chipmakers, like Intel, Samsung, TSMC and GlobalFoundries, who use our product portfolio to manufacture a wide range of semiconductor chips.

Our key technologies

The heart of ASML’s product portfolio is the semiconductor lithography system. The system works with a light source, which generates ultraviolet light. This light is projected through a blueprint (usually referred to as mask or reticle) of a geometric chip pattern. Optics reduce and focus the pattern onto a thin slice of silicon (the wafer) that is coated with a light-sensitive chemical. The light interacts with the chemical, effectively printing the pattern onto the wafer. When unwanted silicon is etched away, a three-dimensional structure is revealed. This process is repeated dozens of times, layer upon layer, ultimately creating a grid of hundreds of chips on a single silicon wafer.

 

Our lithography system is a combination of high-tech hardware and advanced software, affording exact control over the shape and size of the chip patterns it creates. But to create today’s most advanced chips, the patterns and their margins for error are so small that it is no longer sufficient to look at the lithography system in isolation. That is why we enhance system performance and reliability with predictive algorithms (which optimize the blueprint of a chip for lithography) and with metrology (which measure and correct the chip manufacturing process on our systems in real-time). We call the integration of these optimizations for chip manufacturing ’Holistic Lithography’.

Our markets

Our main customer groups are makers of memory and logic chips.

Memory chips can store and process large amounts of data on electronic products and are usually classed as volatile or non-volatile. Volatile memories typically lose stored information when power is removed, while non-volatile memories retain their information. The main type of volatile memory is known as DRAM (Dynamic Random Access Memory), a low-cost, high-capacity chip that provides electronics with memory to help process information. The main type of non-volatile memory chip is known as NAND Flash, which is used to  store data on electronic devices. Both DRAM and NAND Flash chips are made in dedicated memory factories.

Logic chips process information and are the brains of electronic devices. Chipmakers that design and manufacture logic chips are known as IDMs (Integrated Device Manufacturers). Contract manufacturers, known as foundries, produce chips on order for other companies.

Page updated on 2018-4-25 13:00 CEST

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