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TSMC Says It Can Make Next-Generation Chips Without ASML’s Machine

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FILE PHOTO: A smartphone with a displayed TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company) logo is placed on a computer motherboard in this illustration taken March 6, 2023. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

(CTN News) – The Taiwanese chipmaker TSMC does not necessarily need to use ASML’s next generation “High NA EUV” machines for a future generation of chip manufacturing technology termed A16, which is now in the process of being developed for the second half of 2026, according to a statement made by an official on Tuesday.

The High NA lithography tools are expected to assist in the reduction of chip designs by as much as two-thirds; however, chipmakers are required to weigh the benefits of these tools against the greater expense, as well as the possibility that ASML’s older technology may be more reliable and adequate. The High NA lithography tools are expected to do this.

During his presentation at a conference in Amsterdam, Kevin Zhang noted that it is possible that the A16 facilities that the company possesses may be adapted to handle the technology. However, it is not quite obvious that this will be the case. Regular EUV machines that are made by ASML are utilized to the greatest extent by TSMC, which is the largest contract chipmaker in the world.

Zhang commented in an interview with the press, “I like the technology, but I don’t like the sticker price.” Zhang’s statement was made in reference to the price tag.

Following the introduction of the company’s 2 nanometer production node, which is expected to commence mass production in the year 2025,

TSMC will next move on to the design of the A16 node.

During an interview with reporters, he says that the moment when high NA EUV will actually come into play will depend on where we can achieve an optimum economic and technical balance that is feasible for us to achieve.

According to estimates, the high NA tools will cost a total of more than 350 million euros, which is equivalent to $378 million per tool. According to ASML’s estimates, the cost of the standard EUV machines is expected to be 200 million euros, while the cost of the high NA tools is TSMC expected to be more than 350 million euros.

ASML, which is the largest technology business in Europe, holds a dominant position in the market for lithography systems. These systems are pieces of equipment that make use of beams of light to assist in the process of creating the circuits of chips.

But lithography is a limiting issue in terms of how small the features on a chip may be. Lithography is one of the numerous technologies that chipmakers use to manufacture semiconductors. However, it is one of the technologies that they use. Features that are smaller are both quicker and more energy efficient than those that are larger.

Approximately one month ago, the computer chip manufacturer Intel, which is situated in the United States, made the announcement that it had become the TSMC first company to successfully assemble one of ASML’s new High NA EUV lithography machines. In order for Intel to surpass its rivals, this accomplishment is a key component of the company’s overall strategy.

There are 0.9262 euros that are comparable to one dollar.

(This page has been amended to reflect that the A16 TSMC node is slated to be completed in late 2026, rather than in 2027.) The correction can be seen in the first paragraph of this article.

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Alishba Waris is an independent journalist working for CTN News. She brings a wealth of experience and a keen eye for detail to her reporting. With a knack for uncovering the truth, Waris isn't afraid to ask tough questions and hold those in power accountable. Her writing is clear, concise, and cuts through the noise, delivering the facts readers need to stay informed. Waris's dedication to ethical journalism shines through in her hard-hitting yet fair coverage of important issues.

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