Reply to post: Re: That last part.

Zeiss, ASML hit back at Nikon in chip-printing patent row

imanidiot Silver badge

Re: That last part.

@AC, there ARE other (though very small) players in the litho market. Companies like Nikon and ASML get to be the billion dollar companies they are because semicon manufacturers actually buy their product. Keeping those companies happy is the only reason ASML or Nikon have any succes in the market. And as someone involved somewhat in that process, let me tell you they are very demanding clients! (No wonder if an hour of tool downtime costs in the order of 500k or more!). Screw up enough and one of those other small players might suddenly find itself getting a boatload of cash dumped on it to get building.

And litho companies have no qualms about booting a supplier from their fabs.

(I have heard a possibly apocrifal story of a PVD equipment supplier who got told their tools had been removed from the fab after the last breakdown that morning and if they wanted to salvage them they could come pick them up. Ohh, and they were already outside the building in the parking lot. And they might like to hurry as the forecast was for heavy showers that afternoon).

A threat about not buying certain equipment or delaying orders can have VERY heavy repercussions on the operation of a company. You can bet your shiny metal behind that both Nikon and ASML will not do anything to anger their supplier much.

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