Intel has become the first chipmaker to place an order for ASML’s next-gen “High NA” EUV machines. Representing the next step in Extreme Ultraviolet lithography (EUV), the first prototypes of the Twinscan EXE: 5000 will be shipped to customers in 2023. ASML has received an order for five such machines, and it’d suffice to say that TSMC, Intel, and Samsung will be the primary stakeholders.
The Twinscan EXE: 500 EUV machines will be used to fabricate Intel’s 2nm wafers, now renamed to 20A. Each machine will cost $300 million, and each fab requires a dozen or so units for optimum production.
Intel has placed the first order with ASML for a new, advanced chipmaking tool that will cost “significantly” more than $340 million, as semiconductor manufacturers look to get ahead in a booming industry.
In addition to Twinscan EXE: 300, ASML also plans on developing the succeeding EXE: 5200 machines. These will be used to fab Intel’s 18A or 1.8nm wafers. Each EXE:5200 system will cost “significantly” more than $340 million. Intel expects the delivery of the first prototypes by the end of 2024. Mass production should start in 2025.
Going by this schedule, it would seem that Intel is poised to regain process leadership by 2023-2025. However, if a few CPU families or process nodes slip, it’ll be 10nm all over again.