Samsung Electronics will further accelerate the introduction of a "semiconductor micro-fabrication process." The Korean semiconductor giant will build an EUV (extreme ultra violet) production line and begin to produce the most advanced semiconductors via a micro-process by investing about 6.5 trillion won (US$5.8 billion) in the Hwaseong Campus in Gyeonggi Province by 2020.
On February 23, Samsung Electronics announced that it began the construction of a production line by holding the ground-breaking ceremony for Samsung Electronics’ Hwaseong EUV Line on the Hwasung Campus in Gyeonggi-do. "With the new Hwasung EUV Line, Hwaseong Campus will be the center of a 'semiconductor cluster' connected to Giheung, Hwaseong and Pyeongtaek. We are planning to take the lead in the foundry micro-process market," said Kim Ki-nam, head of the DS Division at Samsung Electronics.
An EUV line which only Dutch semiconductor equipment manufacturer can produce in the world is the core equipment and technology that holds the key to semiconductor micro-processes. EUV technology can draw ultra-microcircuits at one go by using microscopic wavelengths as a light source.
Now that a micro-process embraced single-digit nanometer unit in the global semiconductor market recently, Samsung Electronics is aiming to maintain its technological leadership by introducing EUV equipment with a shorter wavelength than current ArF (argon fluoride) light sources in terms of maintaining a super-wide gap in micro-processes.
Samsung Electronics introduced EUV technology for the first time in 2014, and has been preparing to apply the technology to actual production since then. The company is focusing on widening technological gaps with its competitors by introducing EUV technology to its new foundry factories such as a 7-nm foundry process using EUV exposure technology which was disclosed in May of last year.
Samsung Electronics has set the initial investment in the EUV line at US$6 billion (about 6.4 trillion won) for the next three years. There is a high possibility that additional investments will be made depending on market conditions after the line is put into operation.
Samsung Electronics expects the EUV production line to respond effectively to the needs of the market of the most advanced semiconductors which require 'high performance and low power' characteristics such as those for mobile phones, servers, networks and HPCs (high performance computers). Samsung Electronics has already decided to produce 5G chips for Qualcomm after designating Qualcomm as the first customer of its 7LPP (low power plus) process.