Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Canon's Nanoimprint Leap: Challenging ASML's Dominance in Semiconductor Lithography

Canon Inc. has unveiled its semiconductor lithography equipment after 10 years of development, aiming to challenge the market dominance of Netherlands-based ASML Holding NV. This equipment, using Canon's new nanoimprint lithography (NIL) technology, prints intricate circuit patterns on semiconductor wafers. Historically, Japanese firms, including Canon, led the lithography market until ASML took over with a 90% share. Canon's system merges its renowned inkjet and camera tech. Unlike traditional methods using strong light and resulting in high costs, Canon's method is energy-efficient, printing patterns in a single step and using just 10% of the power. Its affordability and efficiency could make it competitive, especially for products with complex designs. While current cutting-edge devices use 2-nanometer chips, Canon's tech can produce 5-nanometer-node products, with aspirations to achieve 2-nanometer-node. Canon's launch offers potential diversification in a market long dominated by ASML.
According to Lithography expert Dr. Frederick Chen, Canon's statement on nanoimprint technology status following mid-October announcement indicated they were still facing challenges before reaching the levels required for mass production.

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