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China’s Step Towards Self Sufficiency: Develops New Lithography Technology Using Particle Accelerators

Published: 10.2.2023

According to the South China Morning Post, China is exploring the use of particle accelerators to create a novel laser source for semiconductor lithography, potentially positioning itself as a global leader in advanced chip manufacturing.

Earlier this year, The US imposed sanctions against ASML, the world's exclusive producer of EUV lithography machines, that prohibit them from selling its EUV lithography machines to Chinese companies. This posed challenges for China to manufacture its own chips, given that EUV lithography is the most advanced lithography technology available today.

In response to these restrictions, the Chinese research team based at Tsinghua University is now developing a new lithography technology that uses particle accelerators to generate EUV light. This technology has the potential to be much cheaper and simpler than traditional EUV lithography.

China envisioned the establishment of a vast production facility housing multiple lithography machines, all centered around a solitary accelerator. Such a design could facilitate the production of advanced chips, including those with feature sizes as diminutive as 2nm, without reliance on traditional EUV lithography scanning systems.

According to a report published in the South China Morning Post, Tsinghua University's research team has made notable progress in advancing this novel lithography technology and the team has successfully conducted trials of the technology and is currently evaluating potential locations for the construction of a pilot manufacturing facility.

If China is successful in developing this new lithography technology, it could have a major impact on the global semiconductor industry. China could become a new leader in the manufacture of advanced chips, and it could reduce its reliance on foreign suppliers.

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