Canon, renowned for its printers and cameras, has just introduced a semiconductor technology solution. The FPA-1200NZ2C is a “nanoimprint lithography” system and it is designed to revolutionize the production of semiconductor components. Further, it will be competing head-to-head with ASML, the Dutch giant dominating the extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography machine sector.
A New Contender in Semiconductor Production
Canon’s FPA-1200NZ2C is positioned as a robust response to ASML’s technological prowess, which plays a pivotal role in the production of advanced chips, including those powering the latest Apple iPhones. The introduction of this technology signifies Canon’s commitment to becoming a significant player in the fiercely competitive semiconductor manufacturing arena.
The application of EUV technology, central to the conflict between the United States and China, has been marred by export restrictions and sanctions. The U.S. strategy aims to impede China’s access to essential chips and manufacturing machinery. Further, it will potentially hinder the growth of the world’s second-largest economy in a field where it is striving to catch up.
Canon’s FPA-1200NZ2C Surpasses Industry Standards
Canon’s announcement highlighted the FPA-1200NZ2C’s remarkable capabilities. This include producing semiconductors matching a 5-nanometer (nm) process and scaling down to an impressive 2nm. This surpasses the capabilities of Apple’s A17 Pro chip, found in the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max, which operates on a 3nm semiconductor.
Restrictions, Biden’s Administration and China’s Counter move
ASML faces restrictions, hindering the export of its EUV lithography machines to China. Additionally, Canon’s foray into the semiconductor space intensifies the scrutiny on this critical technology.
Further, the Biden administration aims to close loopholes enabling chip purchases from China’s Huaqiangbei electronics area. This move seeks to tighten control over semiconductor technology flow. China responds with draft security regulations, specifically targeting companies offering generative AI services. These regulations include restrictions on data sources used for AI model training.