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Charlotte Trueman
Senior Writer

ASML boosts chip manufacturing capacity to meet global demand

Nov 21, 20232 mins
CPUs and ProcessorsTechnology Industry

The Dutch manufacturer of ultraviolet and deep ultraviolet technology has said it will spend over $100 million a year to increase its production and development capacity.

Chip making semiconductor manufacturing
Credit: Shutterstock

Dutch chip manufacturer ASML plans to invest 100 million euros ($109.6 million) a year for an unconfirmed number of years to expand the production and development capacity at its Berlin plant.

ASML is the only supplier of ultraviolet (EUV) and deep ultraviolet (DUV) technology, the world's most advanced chipmaking techniques used to mass-produce chips that are smaller than 7nm. It manufactures lithography components including wafer clamps, wafer tables, reticle chucks and mirror blocks at its Berlin factory.

The latest investment commitment reflects the growing global demand for semiconductors and the need to shore up the supply chain. The Berlin factory currently employees in 1,700 workers, a figure that is expected to increase to 2,300 within a few years, according to a report in the German Handelsblatt newspaper. AMSL has already employed 600 new workers at the factory since the start of 2022, managing director George Gomba told Handelsblatt.

Asked for comment, an ASML spokesperson confirmed that the company is committed to spending 100 million euros a year to bolster production capacity, and noted that amount has already been spent for 2023.

Even though the Dutch government has placed export restrictions on companies such as ASML, which sell advanced chip-making technology to China, in the third fiscal quarter of 2023, ASML's sales rose by 16% to 6.7 billion euros year over year, and profit rose by 11% to around 1.9 billion euros.

The restrictions form part of a broader trade war with China and mimic sanctions enacted by the US government, which first imposed restrictions on exports of chips to China in 2015, extending them in 2021 and twice in 2022. It was the US government that convinced the Netherlands and Japan to join it in expanding the ban on exports of chip-making technology to China.

Earlier this month, Canon announced plans to start offering nano-imprinting lithography at a price point one digit less than the current cost of ASML's technology, opening up the market to smaller manufacturers to make leading-edge semiconductors.

By removing the use of an optical mechanism from the manufacturing process, Canon said it will be able to reduce the cost of ownership of machines.

Charlotte Trueman
Senior Writer

Charlotte Trueman is a staff writer at Computerworld. She joined IDG in 2016 after graduating with a degree in English and American Literature from the University of Kent. Trueman covers collaboration, focusing on videoconferencing, productivity software, future of work and issues around diversity and inclusion in the tech sector.

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