A fire occurred at ASML’s factory in Berlin, Germany on January 3, according to TrendForce’s investigations. ASML is the largest supplier of key equipment (including EUV and DUV) required for foundry and memory production. According to TrendForce’s preliminary inquiry, approximately 200m2 out of a factory floor covering 32,000m2 was affected by the fire. This factory primarily manufactures optical components used in lithography systems such as wafer tables, reticle chucks, and mirror blocks. Reticle chucks used for affixing photomasks are in short supply. Currently, the majority of components produced at this factory go towards supplying EUV machines while the lion’s share of demand for these products come from foundries. If the fire delays component delivery, it cannot be ruled out that ASML will prioritize the allocation of output towards fulfilling foundry orders.
Lead time for this exclusive supply of key EUV machines has been long and may affect the timeframe of advanced manufacturing process transition
In terms of foundries, EUV is primarily used in advanced manufacturing processes smaller than the 7nm node. Currently, the only companies in the world using this equipment for manufacturing are TSMC and Samsung including TSMC’s 7nm, 5nm, 3nm nodes, Samsung’s EUV Line (7nm, 5nm and 4nm) built in Hwaseong, South Korea, and 3nm GAA node. However, due to factors such as the shortage of global foundry production capacity and the active expansion of manufacturing, semiconductor equipment lead times are also stretching further into the future.
In terms of DRAM, Samsung and SK Hynix are already using EUV in their 1Znm and 1alpha nm processes, while US manufacturer Micron is expected to introduce EUV to their 1gamma nm process in 2024. According to TrendForce’s current information, the lead time on ASML EUV equipment is approximately 12 to 18 months. Due to this long equipment lead time, ASML is at liberty to wait for the completion of replace components for those lost in the fire during the time necessary for equipment assembly.
Overall, the ASML Berlin factory fire will have a greater impact on the manufacturing of EUV lithography equipment when it comes to foundries and memory. According to TrendForce’s information, it cannot be ruled out that ASML will obtain necessary components from other factory campuses. In addition, the current lead time for EUV equipment is quite long. Therefore, the actual impact on EUV supply remains to be seen.
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