- ASML’s machines play a major role in making the most sophisticated silicon
- The alliance also reflects coalition-building efforts led by the US to ensure that silicon supply chains are resilient
ASML has announced its first-ever offshore research lab, which will be set up in South Korea in collaboration with Samsung.
The investment in this lab will be approx. $750 million. The facility will help to develop cutting-edge semiconductor processing technology using next-generation EUV (extreme ultraviolet lithography) equipment. Besides Samsung, SK hynix will also work with ASML to reduce the energy consumption of EUV machines.
This deal has been framed as a “semiconductor alliance” with the Netherlands. The alliance also reflects coalition-building efforts led by the US to ensure that silicon supply chains are resilient.
ASML’s machines play major role to make the most sophisticated silicon.
The United States remains concerned that ASML’s top-notch technology output could potentially assist China’s military in developing technologies and weaponry that pose a national security threat. Over successive administrations, the US has implemented export restrictions on technology produced by American companies to prevent it from reaching China. They have also encouraged key suppliers in allied nations to adopt similar measures.
In contrast, China continues manufacturing chips with impressive specifications, seemingly bypassing these sanctions. In September 2023, Huawei introduced a smartphone featuring a processor manufactured using a 7nm process, precisely the technology that US sanctions aimed to restrict in the People’s Republic. Recently, Chinese media reported that Huawei has achieved even greater success by unveiling a 5nm laptop chip.