On Friday, Canon, a Japanese company best known for its printers and cameras, unveiled a crucial tool that it claims would aid in the production of the most cutting-edge semiconductors available.
Canon is taking on Dutch company ASML, which controls the market for extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography machines, with its newest “nanoimprint lithography” system. To create the most cutting-edge chips, like those seen in the most recent Apple iPhones made by Taiwan’s TSMC, ASML’s instruments are necessary.
These devices have become embroiled in the conflict between the United States and China over technology.
Because it is essential to the ability to produce semiconductors at 5 nanometers and below, ASML’s EUV technology has grown in popularity among the most sophisticated chipmakers. The nanometer value describes the dimensions of the chip’s features. More features can fit onto a chip and hence increase the power of the semiconductor as that number decreases.