Semiconductor equipment maker ASML ships second 'High NA' EUV machine


FILE PHOTO: ASML logo is seen near computer motherboard in this illustration taken January 8, 2024. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - ASML, the biggest supplier of equipment to computer chip makers, said on Wednesday said it has shipped one of its newest "High NA" EUV lithography systems to a second customer.

ASML, which shipped one High NA tool to Intel in December-January, did not identify the second customer. Potential customers could include contract chipmaker TSMC, which makes chips for Nvidia and Apple, or Samsung.

These machines cost around 350 million euros ($370 million) each and are expected to enable new generations of smaller, faster chips.

The sale was disclosed along with ASML's first-quarter earnings that missed expectations

TSMC and Samsung have previously said they plan to adopt the new system, which is expected to lead to a major increase in the number of transistors that can be packed onto a single chip.

Intel has said it will begin using High NA tools in early production in 2026-2027 with its 14A series chips.

The very first High NA machine was assembled at ASML's headquarters in Veldhoven Netherlands, where companies that are adopting EUV technology are being given access to it for testing purposes. The company said it has orders for between 10 and 20 of the machines.

Lithography systems use beams of light to help to create the chip circuitry. ASML's first generation of EUV systems, currently used to make most chips in smartphones and AI chips, use light in the "extreme ultraviolet" wavelength to create design features down to 13 nanometres in resolution, smaller than a virus.

The company said in a post and photo published on X on Wednesday that the High NA machine has successfully produced features at 10 nanometres. The theoretical limit of the machine is 8 nanometres, according to ASML's website.

($1 = 0.9394 euros)

(Reporting by Toby Sterling. Editing by Jane Merriman)

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