Compared with TSMC and Samsung, Intel has followed up on the EUV lithography machine late, but it will catch up. According to analysis, Intel has 10-12 EUV lithography machines, and the 14th generation Core will launch the Intel 4 EUV process for the first time.
EUV lithography machine is the most advanced and complicated equipment in semiconductor production at present, with a price of about 1 billion. Only ASML in the Netherlands can produce it. Although there are only three customers, Intel, TSMC and Samsung, the supply still exceeds the demand. Last year, 55 sets were produced, and the production capacity is expected to increase to 90 sets per year in 2025.
Despite its high value, EUV lithography machine can not only manufacture advanced process chips, but also reduce process steps and complexity, which means that the chip cost is lower and the production capacity is greater, which is extremely important in the process production after 5nm.
At present, neither Intel 10 nor Intel 7 processes use EUV lithography machines. Intel will launch the first EUV process on Intel 4 processes. The first processor is the 14th generation Core Meteor Lake, which will be launched in 2023. It is also Intel’s first desktop processor with 3D packaging.
The progress of the 14th generation Core depends on the progress of Intel’s EUV process. It has been disclosed that Intel currently has about 10-12 EUV lithography machines, mainly in the D1X wafer factory and R&D center in Oregon, which is also the earliest factory for Intel to mass produce the Intel 4 EUV process, followed by the wafer factory in Irland, which will also mass produce the Intel 4 process later.