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ASML has delivered its second advanced EUV lithography system. Although ASML did not disclose the new customer’s identity, it could well be a chip maker like TSMC, which manufactures chips for companies such as Nvidia, Apple and Samsung.

This is according to a Reuters article. Few parties in the world can afford such high-end equipment and have the know-how to work with it. This sale follows an earlier delivery of such a system to Intel late last year. That company has indicated that it plans to use High-NA EUV lithography in the production phase of its 14A-series chips starting in 2026.

The state-of-the-art machines cost about 350-400 million euros each and should enable the development of new generations of smaller and faster chips.

The shipment announcement coincided with the presentation of ASML’s quarterly figures. These turned out to be disappointing. Departing CEO Peter Wennink, however, reported that 2024 is considered a ‘transition year’. The company should not have to adjust expectations downward for the rest of the year.

Significantly more transistors on a chip

Both Taiwanese chip maker TSMC and Samsung have indicated plans to adopt the latest, highly advanced High-NA EUV machines. The technology allows significantly more transistors to be integrated onto a chip. ASML currently has ten to twenty of these advanced machines on order.

Like its predecessor, this latest generation lithography system uses beams of light to create chip circuits. The higher resolution allows the machine to produce even smaller and more complex structures on a chip, at a scale of 10 nanometers, with a theoretical limit of 8 nanometers.

Also read: “ASML scrapped shipments to China under pressure from US”