The Extreme Physics Pushing Moore’s Law to the Next Level

We’re suiting up to take you inside a clean
room that’s building an engineering marvel that’ll push the entire electronics industry
to the next frontier. They’re both amazing machines and scary machines. There’s an enormous
amount of complexity with them. There’s an enormous number of things that can potentially
go wrong. It’s something that you don’t necessarily sleep well at night, just having the machine
on your floor. It’s about the size of a school bus, weighing over 180,000 kilograms,
with over 100,000 parts, and 3,000 interlocking cables. Pop the hood and you’ll see lasers
shooting tiny droplets of tin, generating plasma that’ll get collected and reflected
by a series of mirrors, to then etch nanoscale patterns onto chips that’ll eventually go
into your next cell phone. And after 30 years of innovations in physics, chemistry, and
material science, it’s about ready for its debut. An integrated circuit, or chip, is
one of the biggest innovations of the 20th century. It launched a technological revolution,
created Silicon Valley, and everyone’s got one in their pocket. But if you zoomed in
on one of those chips, I mean, really zoomed in, you’d find a highly complex, nanoscale
sized city that’s expertly designed to send information back and forth. Semiconductor
lithography is the ultimate alchemy, turning sand into gold. You start with the silicon
wafer. You add insulators, add something called a gate which you apply a voltage to it, and
it turns on or off the flow of electrons. That’s the little switch that’s sort of does
the zero to one’s that you always hear about You build up a sequence of
layers. The network, the streets and buildings that you need in order to make these transistors
and interconnect those transistors. At the end you can turn that into something that
has substantially more value than a bucket of sand. At big tech conferences, chip manufacturers
will announce they’ve hit impossibly small new milestones, like 22nm then 14nm and 10nm
designs. That means they’ve found a way to shrink the size and increase the number
of features on a chip, which ultimately improves the overall processing power. This is what’s
been driving the semiconductor industry – a drumbeat called Moore’s Law. Moore’s Law
is an expectation. It’s not a natural law. It’s an expectation that we innovate at a pace
of roughly doubling the density every two years. All of those things allow us to offer
better products, allow us to offer cheaper products with the same capability and that
in turn drives the demand for the overall industry. That means that we’ve got to be
able to cram in, more and more functionality per square millimeter on a chip. All the designs and
streets and everything have to be smaller and smaller in dimensions. Moore’s Law has
been predicted to be dying for a long time and yet it never is. Because each generation
of engineers knows it’s their expectation to keep working on it, to keep going at a
certain pace. The core technique at the heart of this expectation is called photolithography. It’s
a chip manufacturing process that’s similar to darkroom photography, but instead of a
negative for a picture, they’re using something called a mask or reticle to expose a geometric print. It’s
basically a projection system where we have a light source, a mask or reticle, which is
the blueprint, then the wafer. And we have to manage the light on the way through to
get a perfect reproduction of that pattern on a silicon wafer. That enables you to build
all of the billions of transistors that you need in order to make a functional chip. The
light sources are lasers, created from a mixture of gases, like carbon dioxide or argon fluoride.
When excited by an electric current, the gas molecules will emit laser radiation that are
then tuned to a specific wavelength that imprints the chip design. There’s a drive to get
the light source to shorter and shorter wavelengths, because the shorter it gets, the more transistors
you can cram onto a chip. In terms of the electromagnetic spectrum, what we can see
visibly is about 400 and 650 nanometers. The chip industry’s gone from 365 nm wavelengths
to 248 nanometers to something called argon fluoride immersion. So argon fluoride refers to a wavelength, 193 nanometers. It is produced using a deep ultraviolet laser light source. The industry
tried to go to 157 nanometer light, and that failed after companies had invested hundreds
of millions of dollars in it. The field then had to invent new technical tricks for the
systems in use today. They actually put water in between the bottom lens element and the
wafer, because the wavelength of light in water is quite a bit shorter. When I first
heard about it, I thought it was just crazy. You’re going to get water all over the stages,
and the electronics inside the tool. There was some very clever engineering that allowed
them to contain that water in a little puddle as the wafer is going back and forth at about 700 millimeters a second. But that turns out to be coming near the end of its ability to produce even finer and finer
features. So to keep Moore’s Law on track without breaking the laws of physics, chip
manufacturers have been racing to bring this technology online: Extreme Ultraviolet
Lithography. It takes the wavelength of light from 193 nanometers down to 13.5. The jump
is much larger than what we would normally do. And that’s partly because it’s more of
a disruptive technology. The first academic work on EUV was done in 1986, when I was still
an undergraduate in college. Through my whole career, we’ve been hearing that EUV was coming.
There was so many fundamental problems with using these soft x-ray wave lengths for a
lithography tool. We’re down to the point where the amount of variation can be measured
in atoms. And so you have to work very hard to have a control of those dimensions. And
that is where ASML comes in. ASML is the most important tech company you’ve never heard
of. We build the big machines that make small chips. EUV was a massive step for us to undertake.
Not only did we need to have an entirely new scanner because we had to work in a vacuum
and at wavelengths where you need to have only reflective optics which required a huge
amount of innovation. But we also needed a new light source as well. In fact, it’s
the first time ever, that we’ve needed to change the light source and huge elements
of the scanner design at the same time. But for this story, we’re just going to focus
on the lasers. Here’s how they work in the machine. The source of the light is a
tiny little droplet of tin. They’re smaller than the diameter of a human hair in which
we fire across the vessel and then we intercept those with a pulsed laser beam of very high
power. And I have to hit it with an accuracy of just a few microns even though it’s traveling
at, let me say at the speed in excess of the speed limit. It forms a plasma that emits EUV light. There’s
a collector mirror that collects that light and sends it into the scanner. Then there
are four mirrors that essentially shape that light into a slit that bounces off the reticle. You
will see a reticle stage doing this, and a wafer stage doing this. And what is happening
is step and scan. Which basically means we continue to reproduce that particular pattern
over and over again. Just to give you a sense of the mechanical complexity even, the wafer
stage itself is something like 200 kilograms in weight and yet it’s able to accelerate
faster than a fighter jet. The thing that probably had people the most skeptical was, getting the power on the source up. When we started out we didn’t generate the power that
we wanted and we struggled at the beginning to understand why. Every year it was slipping
out, and the actual power we were getting was stuck around very low levels, impractical
levels. We continued to dive into looking more fundamentally at the basic plasma physics.
What were we missing? It was around about 2015 where we finally unlocked the secret.
It’s all about exactly controlling how you deliver that energy to the droplet and then
how you would deliver it to the tin afterwards. It becomes very critical in pushing that conversion
efficiency up. You don’t just need to hit the tin droplet with one laser pulse but,
in fact, two. The first of those pulses, shapes the target in a way that enables us to get
this high conversion efficiency and then the second pulse of course, generates that very
hot plasma that we need for generating 13.5 nanometers at high power. Once we crested
that, it became, I wouldn’t say easy, but at least we saw the path and we were able
to make changes to the system and we could see the immediate benefit. We actually still do work looking at how do we continue to push
the power and the features of the light source that will support future scanners. Bunny suits
are required around these precision tools, because the tiniest particle could kill a
wafer pattern. The major
source of particles in a clean room is actually the people. The equipment generally, unless
something is actually scraping, something’s misadjusted, they don’t generate particles.
The bunny suits are to protect the tools, and the wafers from the contamination. Here
we have, largely the manufacturing activities as associated with the droplet generator.
We also have an area we call integration where we look at the entire source and how it performs. When you go in to look at an EUV source, you see a large vessel with lots of interconnection
everything. We have gas, power, water, etc. that’s needs to be delivered. We’ll
see a beam transport system. So where we actually bring the high power laser beam into the vessel.
ASML has been shipping this machine to chip manufacturers and it takes 40 freight containers,
spread over 20 trucks and 3 cargo planes just to ship one of them. This is an army of people
putting things together and pushing the edge of technology to make it work at all. And
then of course having to make it work day in and day out.The EUV scanner is the most
technically advanced tool of any kind, that’s every been made. It’s so far from normal human
experience. I can’t think of anything that has pushed the envelope in so many areas.
There were many knowledgeable people in the field who just said. “You can never
make a practical tool this way.” We’re just starting to enter into high volume manufacturing
with EUV powered scanners and in fact, we’re just starting to see some end products that
are actually coming out that have chips that have been enabled by EUV technology. There’s
an insatiable amount of data, so you can build chips to store data, process data, move data
around. The whole cloud is lots and lots of chips, doing all three of those things. I
was talking with some people that are building the next particle accelerators and they’re
going to generate trillions of events every second. And there’s no way to make sense of
all of that even with this generation of computers. So you’ve got to go build ever
faster computers, larger data storage, just to make sense of the science that’s going
on. Part of predicting the future is around diagnosing trends in technology. If you don’t
know what the future holds, are you afraid of that or are you encouraged by it? And I’m
in the category of being encouraged by it because there’s things to do that you haven’t done
before, things to create that you haven’t created before. And then you may not set out
to change the world, but we changed the world one step at a time.

  1. Hi! Thanks for watching! Interested in seeing us cover the other key innovation behind this machine—the optical mirrors? Let us know in the comments below and check out our playlist for more episodes:

  2. Moores law isnt dying but it has already died lol
    You cant make transister smaller than 3nm haha electron will just bypass whether transister is open or close so no computation.
    We are alredy stuck with 7nm(marketing gimmick) and 5nm is still beyong 2020

  3. Moore's Law" Stopped about 8 years ago..when Intel hit a snag and couldn't make things smaller so they moved to Multiple Chips on a CPU vs making things smaller..about 3 or 4 years ago NON Intel Chip makers had a breakthru and figured out how to get to 12 nm then10 nm then 7 nm and now looking at 4 and 5 nm design process. So things haven't been doubling every generation there have been gaps this decade. We are getting to the point where you can'take things smaller as the electrons won't Fit thru the gates and you get tons of "Drift" with everything being so close that the electrons jump lanes causing errors. Quantum Computers which gets rid of this entire process may be the key for future growth.

  4. Whatever you see here, an artificial intelligence will be able to do all this a trillions of times better in a pico second

  5. This is most advanced technology of this century that made all other advance technology possible! It's amazing how all of us hsve access to it in forms of different gadgets like of our phones. We are basically holding piece of most advanced technologies coming together to form this wonderful gadget.

  6. I don’t know much about this but why not just work on quantum powered transistors because they’re getting so small it won’t matter soon

  7. as soon as it got to 6:50 my mind was blown to the point it made a big bang in my head. It blows me away how people can think of this Imagine inventing this.

  8. Chip manufacturers: Our technology pushes physics to the next level!

    Quantum tunneling: I'm gonna end this man's whole career, hold my leptons.

  9. E=(L)ions jungle.core knows when to flex and what and where to hood world wide connection..qubit trust quantum loyalty/respect..lumin*qubit.C÷÷100 keeping it

  10. Hmm, so you’re using atomic flash, so the density of the object imprints on the shadow with near exact replicas in a matter of seconds… fascinating….

    Anything more and you risk frying the master copy, but anything less and you get replicas that are not precise and therefore don’t work well if at all…

    The only way you could be even more precise is if you took a solid block, calculated the atomic existence of the process and use atomic wavelengths to reach that section of the block needed to be altered and carve out a solid processor without ever having to develop the project… basically your phasing through the material to build it using the dissipating energy of the wavelength…. in theory if applied correctly you could create a system less than a nanometer in area…

  11. I understood parts of it, but the overall machine is so far beyond my comprehension. What blows my mind again is knowing that I'll be alive for decades. When I'm an old man, I know I'll be a disabled chimp in an alien ship. It'll be worlds beyond my comprehension, and I'm just along for the ride.

  12. The whole accuracy issue is a very big problem, reduces the room for error that can be done by machinery let alone AI. It's also a very tedious process, way more than our current methods reducing the comercially viable side of things down to luxury. This serves it's purpose but it's not mass productive and may very well turn into the next snake oil trade.

  13. LOL, my mom works at ASML and my dad is a professor micro-nano technology, this hit me hard as I never had ANY interest in their profession until seeing this video. I remember being 12 and my dad took me to Japan where he was invited to give a presentation by a technical university in Japan. He would start his presentation with a joke saying: "Moore, is less". I didn't understand that back then, I though he literally said: more is less… Then he would continue talking about how one day our chips are going to be smaller than a nanometer. That was almost 15 years ago. I guess we're here now.

  14. Imagine a chip that uses a logic gate the size of an atom and an insulator the size of an atom using different materials next to each other, then imagine it layered on top of each other atom by atom.

  15. You know, people always thank soldiers, ambulance people, firefighters and policemen (in some countries) for their service (if they are properly raised). And rightfully so, as they protect the people from whatever danger and save us if needed. But these people… These people are actually progressing human civilisation (for most people) beyond comprehension. So, THANK YOU PEOPLE OF ASML!!! For all of the amazing work you guys put out!!

  16. When you compete with peer-to-peer creativity among storytellers and content creators, I don't like to say that you are the best, I simply say that you have an angel that even if it is a little while, brings the heart back to life, to the really interesting thing, not only materially but what moves the physics of making you feel good

  17. It would be amazing that the components once they have completed their cycle can be recycled, in an automated and completely sustainable way, want to advance in maximum efficiency and also in recycling.

  18. Sad when you see them loading the machines up on a plane. You know they’re on their way to China where they’ll simply be copied

  19. 7:12. Instead of using a manufactured pattern why wouldn’t they use natural math patterns? Like the fibonacci, per say?

  20. Then now a days, "some" peoples are happy watching some youtubers breaking things(technologies) that they didn't even know where or how they were built

  21. 2:08 thats a intel chip with a amd board, and ur not supposed to place it that way, and what is that white tube there? thermal paste? thats the wrong spot. stupid stock photos

  22. This is the same process that Samsung uses to make their chips for their phones! The non-US version of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 that uses the Exynos 9825 is based on the 7nm EUV process. This is amazing we already have this tech in the most innovative smartphone company and hardly nobody knows the kinda engineering involved in these devices.

  23. There is an anime and manga series called Dr. Stone that takes the reader on a journey through literal stone age tech to modern tech. Check it out.

  24. This is wonderfull fot the survivor of wetern culture, or ither use your intelecto and innovate or if not es inevitable you decay

  25. As an undergraduate electrical engineer, I'm in love, so much so that I cried when the machines' internals were shown. Wonderful video and thank you.

  26. Given the state of current affairs when it comes to resource management, they need to keep making chips as small as possible not just for sake of it reducing the foot space in the device. But to decrease the amount of materials needed to make these chip sets. Just a few years ago Apple was having a hard time to keep up with orders because there wasn't enough chip sets in the market due to production increase.

    And on a side note from me geeking out….that facility looks beautiful.

  27. Plasma physics is amazing. that bit about shooting 1 laser to basically turn the tin into a wave form and shape it so the next laser can be absorbed more efficiently blew my mind! holy mother of all precision! the number of applications for this technology that I can think of are infinite. As we move forward chips are gonna get smaller, cheaper and more widely used. imagine them becoming so cheap you have them everywhere and everything basically becomes voice controlled. The future will look like magic to us mere mortals. Kudos to ASML for this innovation

  28. I've read about them in computer science text books, I know about their architecture, but this amazing video really takes the cake… believe it when someone tells you.. one picture worth thousands of words.. now this video worth thousands of pictures. Thanks to Seeker I could see what I theoretically learned and much more I didn't know.

  29. Moore's Law is dead–it is not being "pushed the next level." 30 years ago processor power doubled every couple of years or so. Today, a processor purchased ten years ago is still usable for basic tasks, and one purchased five years ago is still competitive enough that an upgrade doesn't make sense.

  30. Optical computing is the future.
    We're going to completely abandon electric once moore's law dies. Because people are always looking what's better.

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