ASML Analyst Day: The future with DUV, EUV and High-NA is bright

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ASML rolled out its future plans for Analyst Day 2021. In view of the demand for chips, there is no end in sight to the booming company, on the contrary: the future looks bright. With chip production systems according to DUV, EUV, High-NA, but also more service, ASML wants to score points in the coming years.

ASML sees no overcapacity on the horizon

The company with headquarters in the Netherlands, which has meanwhile grown to around 31,000 employees, is in the spotlight like never before. It goes hand in hand with the foundries, which hardly anyone outside of the technology sector knew before the chip crisis of recent times. But now it is also becoming clear there how important, but also how big these companies already are. And this demand is not really going to die down, believes ASML, the demand for more wafers will continue to grow. ASML is thus also opposing the assumptions that overcapacities could quickly arise. According to their analyzes, this will not apply to the market as a whole, because it needs chips with a structure size of 3 nm to 350 nm, as ASML shows with a few components on the new iPhone alone. Because ASML makes a lot of money from building capacity, overcapacities would also be the worst conceivable scenario.

  • ASML supplies devices for all stages of production

    ASML supplies devices for all stages of production (Image: ASML)

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    In addition to 5G and the associated infrastructure, ASML sees the automotive segment as the largest growth markets. In percentage terms, this is actually the largest growth market, followed by industrial solutions. In absolute terms, however, smartphones and servers including data centers will continue to represent the largest market environment in the future, which together with PCs will make up over half of the market. The bottom line for ASML at the beginning of the supply chain is: growth.

  • Growth rates in the coming years

    Growth rates in the coming years (Image: ASML)

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    Old processes grow most clearly in percentage terms

    Growth should come in all areas, older processes in particular will increase significantly in percentage terms – this is where ASML makes the greatest adjustments to the forecast. ASML understands 28 nm and more to be an older process, also on 200 mm wafers or even 150 mm silver disks – the standard nowadays is 300 mm. Nevertheless, the largest turnover by 2025 will come from EUV systems for the most modern processes.

    Sales forecast with share for 2025 Sales forecast with share for 2025 (Image: ASML)

    EUV has come to stay

    EUV is the big thing at ASML, which is not only made clear by the numbers for the future. Many presentations on Analyst Day dealt with the topic of the dark & ​​bad days At the beginning, as ASML calls it, with underground availability of the systems and low yields from 2017 to 2018, until now, when EUV is on the road to success. This is to be continued, with even higher productivity of the systems, but also with more manufactured ones: ASML wants to build 70 EUV exposure machines in 2025.

  • EUV systems under development

    EUV systems in development (Image: ASML)

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    At the same time, the aim is to achieve a rate of 95 percent availability, and the output of wafers per day is also to be increased by 50 percent through improved systems. Because the demand will grow massively, DRAM manufacturers are only now starting to expose with EUV, even some industry giants in the logic environment are not yet at work with EUV – here ASML gave more than a small swipe towards Intel. These will only rely on EUV from next year, while the global logic division is also expanding massively at the same time.

  • EUV continues to grow significantly

    EUV continues to grow significantly (Image: ASML)

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    In some cases, however, ASML also protects Intel and admits: ASML had always hoped that EUV would develop quickly and satisfactorily, but even in 2017 it was not really foreseeable. Intel therefore decided at an early stage in favor of classic DUV methods; their own problems in the fabs together with the now missing EUV scanners left them clearly behind. TSMC, on the other hand, was rewarded for the courage to take risks. That should change with the next generation: High-NA. Because here the game starts all over again.

    From DUV to EUV to High-NA From DUV to EUV to High-NA (Image: ASML)

    High NA is the next big thing

    In around five years there will be problems in production similar to those that were the case with the transition from DUV to EUV. More and more production steps are required for complex chips, which is becoming more expensive, more error-prone and less efficient. ASML believes that the compulsion to use high NA will probably be similar in this segment to EUV. That is why research has been going on for years into the next generation of exposure machines, and now it is taking shape.

  • Benefits of high NA

    Advantages of high NA (Image: ASML)

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    Intel does not want to miss this train this time and has already announced that it will be the first buyer of ASML’s High-NA system. But it will be some time before the systems are ready. From 2023 customers at ASML will be able to take their first steps with these systems, from 2024 they could get their own system. Deliveries for series production are scheduled to begin in 2025. Then the first generation has already been replaced and a second will be introduced because it works much more efficiently: the EXE: 5200.

    High-NA systems on ASML's roadmap High-NA systems on ASML’s roadmap (Image: ASML)

    AMSL also gave some small insights into the development of the new EXE systems. Accordingly, the individual components are just arriving in the Netherlands, where the system is being put together and testing begins. Above all, the 1 meter mirror manufactured by Zeiss is unparalleled.

  • Mirror for high NA system

    Mirror for high NA system (Image: ASML)

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    Errors that were made during the transition from DUV to EUV should not be repeated. At that time almost everything was redesigned, High-NA should be able to take over certain parts of the EUV systems or be based on further developments of these or also the DUV systems. Overall, the portfolio should be brought more to the same denominator. This is to minimize the risk of falling behind again.

  • More similarities between the systems

    More similarities between the systems (Image: ASML)

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    AMSL’s future looks bright as the chip industry will continue to grow. This also applies to ASML’s sales: Depending on the model, it could double by 2025 to up to 30 billion euros per year, and even in the worst case it could still increase by at least 60 percent. One thing is certain, ASML will continue to grow rapidly.

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