Paul van Gerven
7 October 2022

Canon will invest 350 million dollars to raise production of lithography equipment, [Bloomberg reports]https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-10-05/canon-to-build-350-million-plant-for-key-chip-equipment?sref=787q1Rbb). The new plant might include facilities to manufacture nanoimprint lithography equipment, but Canon has yet to make a final decision on the matter as the technology is still in development. Construction is scheduled to commence next year and finish in 2025.

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A Canon KrF scanner. Credit: Canon

Canon is a minor player in lithography equipment, supplying gear used only for mature-node manufacturing. This market is nonetheless seeing rapid growth, which would explain Canon’s decision to expand production.

A possible ace up the sleeve of the Japanese company to make a comeback in more advanced chip production is nanoimprint lithography, a technique that transfers patterns by ‘stamping’. Canon acquired US nanoimprint company Molecular Imprints in 2014 (link in Dutch), but the technology has yet to find traction in the semiconductor market.