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NVIDIA, ASML, TSMC and Synopsys Come Together For Next-Gen Chip Manufacturing

The collaboration expects to deliver breakthroughs in 2-nanometre semiconductors

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NVIDIA on Tuesday announced a development in accelerated computing to the field of computational lithography, enabling semiconductor leaders like ASML, TSMC and Synopsys to accelerate the design and manufacturing of next-generation chips.

The company said that new NVIDIA cuLitho software library for computational lithography is being integrated by TSMC, the world’s leading foundry, as well as electronic design automation leader Synopsys into their software, manufacturing processes and systems for the latest-generation NVIDIA Hopper™ architecture GPUs.

Running on GPUs, cuLitho delivers a performance leap of up to 40-fold beyond current lithography — the process of creating patterns on a silicon wafer. This accelerates massive computational workloads that currently consume tens of billions of CPU hours every year.

Equipment maker ASML is also working closely with NVIDIA on GPUs and cuLitho, and is planning to integrate support for GPUs into all of its computational lithography software products.

These developments are expected to enable chips with tinier transistors and wires than is now achievable, while accelerating time to market and boosting energy efficiency of the massive data centres that run round the clock to drive the manufacturing process.

“The chip industry is the foundation of nearly every other industry in the world,” said Jensen Huang, founder and CEO of NVIDIA. “With lithography at the limits of physics, NVIDIA’s introduction of cuLitho and collaboration with our partners TSMC, ASML and Synopsys allows fabs to increase throughput, reduce their carbon footprint and set the foundation for 2nm and beyond.”

In the near term, fabs using cuLitho could help produce each day 3-5 times more photomasks – which are basically templates for a chip’s design — using 9 times less power than current configurations. A photomask that required two weeks can now be processed overnight.

“Longer term, cuLitho will enable better design rules, higher density, higher yields and AI-powered lithography,” NVIDIA said.

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