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Business News/ News / ASML Shows Off $380 Million, 165-Ton Machine Behind AI Shift
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ASML Shows Off $380 Million, 165-Ton Machine Behind AI Shift

ASML Holding NV is showing off its latest chipmaking machine, a €350 million ($380 million) behemoth that weighs as much as two Airbus A320s and that the company claims will be “essential” for chipmakers who want to participate in the artificial intelligence boom.

ASML Shows Off $380 Million, 165-Ton Machine Behind AI ShiftPremium
ASML Shows Off $380 Million, 165-Ton Machine Behind AI Shift

(Bloomberg) -- ASML Holding NV is showing off its latest chipmaking machine, a €350 million ($380 million) behemoth that weighs as much as two Airbus A320s and that the company claims will be “essential" for chipmakers who want to participate in the artificial intelligence boom. 

The system, called High-NA extreme ultraviolet, has already won orders from Intel Corp., which got the first machine shipped to its D1X factory in Oregon, where the chipmaker develops and perfects production techniques before they’re rolled out, in late December. Intel plans to begin production with the system late 2025. 

The machine can print lines on semiconductors 8 nanometers thick, 1.7-times smaller than the previous generation. Thinner lines mean that the chips can fit more transistors, which results in faster processing speeds and more memory in the semiconductors produced. That will be crucial for AI workloads.  

AI will need “massive amounts of computing power and data storage. I think without ASML, without our technology, that’s not going to happen," the Dutch company’s Chief Executive Officer Peter Wennink said in an interview with Bloomberg last month. “It’s going to be a big driver for our business."

ASML is the only company that produces equipment needed to make the most sophisticated semiconductors, and demand for its products is a bellwether for the industry’s health. The company last quarter received record orders for its top-of-the-line extreme ultraviolet lithography, or EUV, machines show optimism among the biggest customers for the technology, including Intel, Samsung Electronics Co. and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. 

Installation of the first 150,000-kilogram (331,000-pound) system required 250 crates, 250 engineers and six months to complete, ASML spokesperson Monique Mols said during a press tour of company headquarters in Veldhoven.  

The rise of generative AI over the past year, catalyzed by OpenAI’s ChatGPT launch late 2022, has boosted expectations for semiconductor companies across the board. The so-called low-NA EUV machines, which ASML have been selling since 2018, has a price tag of €170 million.

More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.

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Published: 10 Feb 2024, 12:05 AM IST
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