AnandTech's Ian Cutress interviewed Dr. Gary Patton, CTO of GlobalFoundries [anandtech.com]. A number of topics were discussed, including the eventual use of ASML's [wikipedia.org] extreme ultraviolet lithography [wikipedia.org] (EUV) for the "7nm" node [wikipedia.org]:
Q13: With EUV still in the process of being brought up, and the way it is with counting masks and pellicle support coming through, is there ever a mentality of 7nm not getting EUV, and that 7nm could end up a purely optical transition? Do you fully expect EUV to come in at 7nm?
GP: I absolutely believe that EUV is here. It's coming, I absolutely believe it so. As you've seen with the machines we are installing in the clean room, we have placed a big bet on it. As Tom (Thomas Caulfield) was saying, it's a pretty high scale investment. I think if you look at the tool itself, for example, ASML has demonstrated 250W with it. This is pretty repeatable, so I think that it looks in good shape. There are some challenges with the collector availability. They are getting close, I think around 75% availability now is pretty solid, but they have to get to 85%, and they are cranking these tools out. Even with this as a work in progress, there are going to be a lot of tools out on the field, and that is going to also help with improving the performance and control of the tools. The tools we have here are the ultimate tools, the ultimate manufacturing versions.
The lithographic resist is a little bit of a challenge, but we are still trying to optimize that. I don't see that as a show stopper, as we are managing throughout bring up. I think the real challenge is the masks, and I feel very good about the pellicle process. They have made a lot of progress, and they have shown it can handle 250W. The biggest issue has been that you lose a bit of power - so you've done all this work to get to 250W, and then you just lost 20% of that. So it has to go up another 10%, so it's closer to 90%, in terms of a loss to be viable. For contacts and vias, we can run without pellicles. We have the right inspection infrastructure to manage that, and then bring the pellicles in when they are ready.
[...] Q17: Does the first generation of 7LP target higher frequency clocks than 14LPP?
GP: Definitely. It is a big performance boost - we quoted around 40%. I don't know how that exactly will translate into frequency, but I would guess that it should be able to get up in the 5GHz range, I would expect.