from the bit-of-a-dry-spell dept.
AMSTERDAM, Dec 3 (Reuters) - Semiconductor industry bellwether ASML said on Monday a fire at one of its suppliers, electronic components maker Prodrive, would lead to some product delivery delays in early 2019.
The Dutch company, a key supplier to the world's largest computer chip makers, said in a statement it did not expect any change in 2018 deliveries, and it would take several weeks to assess the overall impact to its business.
ASML makes lithography systems, machines which can cost up to 100 million euros each and are used by Samsung, Intel, TSMC and others to help map out the circuitry of semiconductors.
ASML said last week that it planned to ship 30 extreme ultraviolet scanners in 2019, up significantly from 2018. The plan is not surprising, as demand for EUV lithography tools is rising and semiconductors manufacturers are building new fabs. In addition, ASML indicated plans to introduce a new EUV scanner that will offer a higher production throughput, the NXE: 3400C.
Last year ASML shipped (only) 18 Twinscan NXE: 3400B EUV scanners. This was slightly below its expectations, to supply 20 machines. In total, as of July 2018, there were 31 EUV scanners installed at various fabs across the world, including several machines in various semiconductor research organizations, including imec. If everything goes as planned, ASML will ship more extreme ultraviolet scanners in 2019 than it did in in years before that.
[...] Samsung Foundry has already started to use ASML's EUV equipment for production of commercial chips using its 7LPP process technology at its Fab S3.
[...] TSMC is set to start using its Twinscan NXE scanners for commercial wafers in the second half of this year to produce chips using its N7+ manufacturing technology. Initially EUV scanners will be used for non-critical layers, but their use will be expanded at the 5 nm node in 2020 – 2021.
[...] Demand for ASML's Twinscan NXE tools will be further boosted by demand from Intel and SK Hynix.