Wednesday, October 04, 2017
Major China-based IC foundries are already in talks with ASML about the installation of their first extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography equipment for the manufacture of 7nm chips, according to Young-Sun Kim, country manager of ASML China. The first EUV litho system is expected to be installed at a China-based foundry as early as 2019, said Kim.
Once a leading China-based foundry installs EUV equipment, other local foundry chipmakers are expected to follow suit, Kim noted.
In response to some speculation indicating China-based foundries are given less priority for the supply of EUV litho tools, Kim clarified that ASML treats every single customer equally. As long as orders are confirmed, ASML will fulfill the orders and ship EUV litho tools to China without any problems, Kim noted.
There are more than 50,000 components required to build an EUV system, Kim continued. The lead time between the orders confirmation and the delivery of tools is around 21 months, Kim said.
In addition, Kim commented that litho equipment demand from China is set to grow robustly in 2018-2019. In addition to China-based IC foundries, their bigger international rivals have moved to invest aggressively in their local fabs in China, Kim said.
China's litho equipment market has the potential to generate EUR3 billion (US$3.55 billion), Kim noted. ASML has over 40 customers in China including not only first-tier chip vendors but also small- and medium-size foundries.
Kim disclosed that ASML's sales generated from the China market grew slightly to EUR600 million in 2016. ASML's sales generated from China in the first half of 2017 already topped EUR400 million, said Kim, adding that the sales for all of 2017 are set to see substantial on-year growth.
ASML expects to see its sales from China hit an all-time high in 2018, Kim indicated. Sales will continue to grow in 2019, Kim added.
ASML will continue to expand its operations locally in China, and establish closer ties with local science and technology research institutions, according to Kim. ASML currently has a total of 11 branch offices to service its local customers in China, and is looking to add a new office in Chengdu in early 2018, said Kim.
ASML also has R&D teams stationed in Shanghai, Beijing and Shenzhen, Kim indicated. ASML's total workforce in China has reached nearly 600 people, said Kim, adding that the company will continue to expand its local workforce in the region in 2018 and 2019.
Copyright © 2017 CST, Inc. All Rights Reserved