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ASML Unveils Latest High-NA Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) System

Image credit - Reuters

ASML Unveils Latest High-NA Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) System

ASML Holding NV showcased its latest chipmaking machine, a €350 million (US$380 million) piece of equipment that weighs as much as two Airbus A320s, Bloomberg reported.

Media outlets got a look of the ASML High-NA extreme ultraviolet (EUV) system. Intel Corp has placed orders and got the first one shipped to a factory in Oregon in late December. The company plans to start making chips with it late next year.

ASML’s machine can print lines on semiconductors 8 nanometers thick, 1.7 times smaller than the previous generation. The thinner the lines, the more transistors can be fitted on a chip, and the higher the processing speeds and memory.

ASML executives said the system will prove essential for artificial intelligence (AI), a technology notorious for the intensity of the processing it requires. AI will need “massive amounts of computing power and data storage. I think without ASML, without our technology, that’s not going to happen,” CEO Peter Wennink told Bloomberg. “It’s going to be a big driver for our business.”

ASML produces equipment needed to make the most sophisticated semiconductors, and demand for its products is a bellwether for the industry’s health. The Dutch company received record orders for its extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography machines in Q4 2023, showing optimism among the biggest customers for the technology, including Intel, Samsung Electronics Company and TSMC.

Installation of the first 150,000kg system required 250 crates, 250 engineers and six months to complete, ASML spokesperson Monique Mols said. The rise of generative AI over the past year, catalysed by OpenAI’s ChatGPT launch late 2022, has boosted expectations for semiconductor companies across the board. The so-called low-NA EUV machines, which ASML has been selling since 2018 cost €170 million.





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