Japanese technology giant Canon has said its new chip ‘stamping’ machines will make the process to make semiconductors simpler and significantly cheaper, according to a report by the Financial Times.
The new ‘nanoimprint lithography machines’ are aimed at disrupting the most expensive step in the chipmaking process, by “stamping” chip designs on to silicon wafers instead of etching them using ultraviolet light, the FT report said. Canon claims the process will cut energy requirements of the chipmaking process by 90%, compared to the industry’s most widely-used extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography machines.
If successful, Canon’s machines could pose a challenge to ASML — Europe’s most valuable company, with a near-monopoly in the market for those EUV machines. But Canon told the FT that its aim was not to grab market share from EUV machines.
Critics of the technology told FT, meanwhile, that if nanoimprint machines could truly compete with existing chipmaking systems, they would “have been up and running by now”.
Regardless, Canon is aiming to start shipping the machines this year, FT said. The firm hopes to make the most of surging demand for advanced semiconductors on the back of an AI boom and grab market share amid an intensifying chip war between China and the US.
Read the full report: Financial Times
- Vishakha Saxena