ASML sees export controls on latest DUV lithography equipment

ASML sees export controls on latest DUV lithography equipment

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

The Dutch government has just published new export controls for semiconductor equipment.

The export controls cover immersion lithography and advanced deposition. This is in addition to the previous restrictions on the extreme UV (EUV) used for making chips at 5nm and below and impact on leading equipment maker ASML which is based in the Netherlands.

The export control regulations mean ASML will need to apply for export licenses with the Dutch government for all shipments of its most advanced immersion DUV lithography systems, the TWINSCAN NXT:2000i (shown above) and subsequent immersion systems.

The NXT_200i is equipped with an in-line 193nm projection catadioptric lens with a numerical aperture (NA) of 1.35 for a resolution down to 38nm. With a cross-matching overlay, this can create features down to 2.5nm.  The system can process over 275 300mm wafers an hour, or 4600 wafers per day.

Once an application is submitted, the export decision is then up to the Dutch government to determine whether to grant or deny the required export licenses on a case by case basis and provide further details to the company on any conditions that apply.  That leaves the decision as a political one, based on Dutch, EU and US policies, rather than a commercial one.

The company is keen to point out that shipments of other systems are not controlled by the Dutch government, but it will continue to comply with applicable export regulations, including Dutch, EU and US regulations.

The regulations will come into effect on September 1, 2023, but ASML can start submitting export license applications before that date. It says it does not expect this to have a material impact on our financial outlook for 2023 or for the longer-term scenarios, as the company already has a substantial backlog of orders.



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