ASMLemployees working in a cleanroom

all about MICROCHIPS

How microchips are made

Learn about the steps in the chip fabrication process and what it’s like working in a cleanroom

Microchips are made by building up to 100 layers of interconnected patterns on a silicon wafer.

The microchip manufacturing process involves hundreds of steps and can take up to four months from design to mass production. In the cleanrooms of the chipmakers’ fabs (fabrication facilities), air quality and temperature are kept tightly controlled as robots transport their precious wafers from machine to machine.

Tiny skyscrapers

Modern chips can have up to 100 layers, which all need to align on top of each other with nanometer precision (called 'overlay'). The size of the features printed on the chip varies depending on the layer, which means that different types of lithography systems are used for different layers. Our latest-generationEUV (extreme ultraviolet) machinesare used for the most critical layers with the smallest features, and ourDUV(深紫外线)机器对于具有较大特征的关键层。

Computer image of tiny structures that make a computer chip.

How clean is ‘clean’?

如果即使是最小的灰尘或其他异物)最终在晶圆上最终,它可能会破坏微芯片,因此芯片制造商小心翼翼地保持其晶圆厂清洁。只是干净?比外部空气更清洁约10,000倍。大多数芯片制造商都有“ISO类1”洁净室,这些洁净室是“零尘”,这意味着每立方米的100至200米的尺寸之间不超过10个颗粒,没有大于200nm。相比之下,一个干净的现代医院每立方米大约有大约10,000个粉尘颗粒。


The air inside a cleanroom is filtered and recirculated continuously, and employees wear special clothing (sometimes called ‘bunny suits’) to help keep the air particle free.


ASMLmachines are also made in cleanrooms inside our EUV and DUV factories inVeldhoven,荷兰。

500+

在鹅卵石中的机器

Including lithography machines

50k

Average wafer starts per month

€15bn +.

Cost of building a fab

1,000+

Steps in chipmaking process

Types of chipmakers

Integrated device manufacturers (IDMs) such as Intel and Samsung both design and manufacture chips. Foundries, on the other hand, are companies that manufacture chips under contract for other companies. TSMC, GLOBALFOUNDRIES and UMC are examples of this type of chipmaker. A third type of chipmaker is the ‘fabless semiconductor company’ such as Qualcomm, Nvidia and AMD, who avoid the high costs of building and maintaining production facilities by focusing only on chip design. These companies might farm out their production to a foundry.

阅读更多关于Microchips的信息