Our role in semiconductor equipment

Thema:
Digital society

Industry is constantly striving to create smaller, more efficient, and more powerful chips. The challenge is to produce these chips as cost-effectively as possible. We’re the ideal partner for designing this semiconductor equipment, as we create new solutions that drive the development of our industrial partners. And we’re unlocking new opportunities for the semiconductor industry of the future.

What we do for the semiconductor industry

An overview of what TNO does for the semiconductor industry:

  • Alongside Philips, we were one of the four architects of lithography equipment based on extreme ultraviolet light (EUV lithography) in the consortium. This consortium was led by ASML and Carl Zeiss.
  • We’ve developed several first-generation modules (e.g., reticle handler, position sensor). The designs have since been further developed by ASML and its partners, but they’re still easily recognisable.
  • We’ve specialised in equipment development (immersion & EUV lithography, new metrology concepts), the creation of test and qualification equipment, and research and innovation (R&D) for contamination control.
  • We invest in quantum technologies, heterogeneous integration, and integrated photonics. This ensures that we’re ready to deal with future issues raised by our partners.

QuTech: institute for quantum technology

TNO believes in quantum technology as an extension to developments in nano and semiconductor technology. Together with Delft University of Technology and with support from the Dutch government, we’ve founded QuTech. QuTech is an institute for the development of the first quantum computer and the quantum internet. Together with Microsoft and Intel, KPN, our spin-off companies, and other European RTOs such as Fraunhofer Gesellschaft and CEA, almost 300 scientists and engineers are working towards this ambition. Watch a first demonstration of quantum computing at Quantum Inspire or for more information, go to QuTech. In addition, we’re engaged in research on new sensors based on quantum technology. Research infrastructure has been set up and partners are receiving one-on-one support. We’re also studying applications of quantum technologies in the fields of ICT and defence and security.

Supporting Dutch manufacturers

We want to help Dutch manufacturers shape the information-driven society through key technology. This is necessary for almost all sustainability goals and should result in sustainable jobs and GDP growth. We provide one-on-one support and help in the development of ecosystems with a strong position in the Netherlands. TNO works with market leaders worldwide to stay in touch with current trends and technologies.

Partners in semiconductor equipment

We collaborate with large technology companies such as ASML, Carl Zeiss, Intel, and Microsoft, and with Dutch innovative SMEs such as Bronkhorst High-Tech B.V. Often in confidential projects, because it’s the fastest route to valorisation. For less developed technologies, TNO collaborates in European consortia (e.g., KDT projects), national consortia (e.g., PhotonDelta and QuantumDeltaNL), and even through shared development programmes (e.g., QuTech). In addition, TNO wants to support Dutch SMEs, specifically through technology transfers such as licensing and spin-out activities. TNO is proud that innovative Dutch SMEs use – or have used – TNO IP. These include Delta Diagnostics, Hittech, LansEngineering, Mecal, Nearfield Instruments, Somni, Technobis, Technology of Sense, Valley Optics, FastMicro, Orange Quantum Systems, and QBlox.

Into the future together

We want to support equipment manufacturers and others active in the semiconductor industry, now and in the future. The requirements for this equipment are increasingly challenging. For example, mixed machine overlay requires more precise lithography systems. Systems are becoming more expensive, which increases the demands on productivity, service life, and reliability. To achieve this, we’re developing technology to measure ever smaller particles and thermal control concepts.

TNO and new technologies

Smaller features require more precise metrological equipment. We’re therefore carrying out research on near-field optics, metamaterials, and other groundbreaking methods to extract information from nanometre-sized properties. Equipment design requires new approaches, such as STOP analysis and artificial intelligence. And quantum technology will not be a new, isolated market, but will provide more accurate sensors for controlling equipment. Furthermore, at the chip level, the well-known CMOS industry is being enriched with photonic integrated chips, and high-performance computing is being expanded to include quantum computers. TNO is active in all these technologies.

Get inspired

114 resultaten, getoond 1 t/m 5

Educating AI

Informatietype:
Insight
27 September 2022

You can read about how AI is educated in Chapter 1. How can we make clear to AI which goals we want to pursue as humans? Andhow can we ensure intelligent systems will always function in service of society?

Innovation with AI

Informatietype:
Insight
27 September 2022

What does that world look like in concrete terms? Using numerous examples, TNO has created a prognosis for the future in Chapter 2. Regarding construction, for example, in which AI will be used to check the quality, safety, and energy efficiency of buildings before they are actually built. Or healthcare, where robots will partly take over caregivers’ tasks and AI will be able to autonomously develop medicines.

Innovating with innovation AI

Informatietype:
Insight
27 September 2022

How AI will change research itself is explained in Chapter 3. For example, what role will AI be permitted to play in knowledge sharing? And what will happen when we make machines work with insurmountably large data sets?

David Deutsch on the development and application of AI

Informatietype:
Insight
27 September 2022

Peter Werkhoven, chief scientific officer at TNO, joins physicist, Oxford professor, and pioneer in the field of quantum computing, David Deutsch, for a virtual discussion. Deutsch set out his vision in 1997 in the book, The Fabric of Reality. Together, they talk about the significance of quantum computing for the development and application of AI. Will AI ever be able to generate ‘explained knowledge’ or learn about ethics from humans?

Rob de Wijk on the rise of AI in geopolitical context

Informatietype:
Insight
27 September 2022

Anne Fleur van Veenstra, director of science at TNO’s SA&P unit, interviews Rob de Wijk, emeritus professor of international relations in Leiden and founder of The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies. Rob is also a much sought-after expert who appears on radio and television programmes. What does the rise of AI mean geopolitically and in armed conflicts?