Intel engineers hope that the EUV (Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography) manufacturing process will be responsible for making the next generation chip jump in terms of energy efficiency and processing speed. The process used today, called photolithography, has been used in chip and semiconductor manufacturing since 1977.
The company has decided to announce the SoC that will integrate the Galaxy Note 10 before the launch of the smartphone.
This is a mechanism that has evolved a great deal since that time, but it still follows the same basic principle – and today has great difficulty continuing to develop. As the Engadget website explains, photolithography works as a kind of projector.
This is because it depends on lasers emitting light through a mask and even reaching light-sensitive chemicals that are painted on a silicon plate.
The end result is very reminiscent of exposing a photograph: light transmits the image from the chip to silicon. From there, this chip can be engraved directly on the metal.
As time went on, the transistors created by this process began to get smaller, which made them faster and more energy efficient. But we are reaching the limit of this evolution.
That's where the Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography process comes in, which promises to be the solution to enable chips to keep getting better and faster in the future.
Companies have been working for years on creating an economically viable EUV model, but only now that the first devices with the technology are coming to market.
The EUV technique still designs a chip plan on silicon. But for that, it uses extremely short wavelength light. This means that it is easier to create smaller transistors than those possible through photolithography.
In waves as small as these, ultraviolet light is absorbed by almost anything. Therefore, it is not feasible to use any type of laser for this process. It requires the use of more expensive and advanced techniques such as the application of liquid metal and high energy plasma.
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