ASML is developing a new EUV machine that produces extraordinarily small chips. The Dutch manufacturer expects to complete the machine before the end of 2023.

ASML builds machines for the world’s largest chip manufacturers. ASML’s most advanced models work with extreme ultraviolet (EUV), a wavelength suited for producing the world’s smallest chips.

Smaller is better in the chip industry. The more you can pack into a surface, the faster and more efficient the chip becomes. Therefore, the arrival of new EUV machines is very promising for the industry.

ASML recently informed Reuters that its next EUV model is on track to be completed before the end of 2023. The 400 million dollar machine should become the organization’s flagship in the coming years.

ASML told Reuters that it is cooperating with IMEC to spin up a test site in Veldhoven, a municipality in the Netherlands. ASML’s headquarters are located in the same area. The organization’s market value grew to 200 billion dollars over the past decade.

One problem

If everything goes according to plan, chip manufacturers will be able to get acquainted with the machine by the end of 2023. ASML wants to install the machine in customers’ factories from 2024 onwards. At the moment, the organization is on schedule, but it won’t be easy. “Every check is green right now”, said Christophe Fouquet, EUV head at ASML.  “But, you know, we still have to see it all (assembled) together. Right now, and like with every other product, we see some stress in the supply chain, and this is if you ask me today, probably the biggest challenge we have (with the machine).”

Worth its weight in gold

ASML dominates the market segment. Other manufacturers are hesitant to venture into EUV because of its sky-high development costs. It took Intel 18 months to install an existing ASML EUV model. The machine was flown in on four cargo planes to an Irish factory, which was built from the ground up to accommodate the model.

EUV is extremely costly, both for ASML and its customers. Yet, chip manufacturers don’t hesitate to invest. ASML announced that its upcoming EUV model has been pre-ordered by more than five customers. Reuters expects the machine to reduce the size of chip circuitry by 66 percent. This means that manufacturers can fit more transistors on a chip, which increases power and efficiency.

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