Hopefully the U.S., UK and Asian economies will eventually recover but that isn't going to happen any time soon unless millions of real, decent paying jobs are created.
ASML, one of the world’s largest producers of semiconductor manufacturing equipment, said that despite of weak macroeconomic outlook, its customers, leading-edge makers of chips, are actively purchasing new equipment to ramp up production using next-generation manufacturing technologies. Separately, the company reiterated plans to ship commercial extreme ultraviolet (EUV) scanners in 2015.
“The integration work on our NXE:3300B EUV scanners is progressing steadily. We remain on target to deliver systems with a throughput of 70 wafers per hour next year, upgradeable to 125 wafers per hour in 2015. Based on the progress over the last few quarters, customers have intensified their cooperation with us, allocating investments and resources focused on potential insertion of EUV at the 10nm logic node,” said Peter Wennink, president and chief executive officer of ASML.
According to the company, customers among foundries (e.g., GlobalFoundries, Samsung Semiconductor, TSMC, etc.) demonstrate stable requirements for new manufacturing equipment and in the fourth quarter ASML will “aggressively” deliver tools for volume ramp of production using 14nm, 16nm or 20nm manufacturing technologies.
Progress towards an NXE:3300B EUV light source that is powerful enough for high-volume manufacturing has been encouraging: at present EUV source performs at up to 55W, corresponding to a NXE:3300B throughput of 43 wafers per hour. ASML’s specified target remains at 105W or 69 wafers per hour (wph) in 2014, whereas 125 wph is to be achieved for 2015 microchip production.
By the end of this year three NXE:3300B EUV scanners will be shipped. ASML will recognize revenue for one system in 2013 and two others in early 2014. The company expects to ship 12 – 30 EUV devices in 2015.