Reply to post: A slight snag

When you're ASML, not even a semiconductor downturn can dent your outlook

martinusher Silver badge

A slight snag

There's a tiny issue here that might upend things. ASML is really the front end of a whole collection of companies (e.g. including Zeiss) that were effectively nominated by the semiconductor industry to produce advanced lithography machines. They didn't just develop them in a vacuum for some kind of target market, the industry as a whole developed the specifications for the machines and they got to make them. Everyone else buys them -- and they're not really a machine but a process, a process that includes an operations and maintenance staff as part of the deal, Its the ultimate expression of the build/buy tradeoff.

Our (US) government has disturbed the tradeoff. Its stuck in a world where possession of 'the blueprint' or 'the knowhow' is all you need to own the secret, something that a country like China could never master (because, of course, they're Chinese...). So they think by preventing ASML from supplying the process to 'the Chinese' that they've effectively scotched Chinese semiconductor plans. This is true, but only up to a point. The Chinese will produce their own EUV type lithography, its only a matter of 'when', and when they do ASML will find itself in a very awarkward position because the Chinese product, being "Version 2.0", is likely to be better and cheaper (having learned from experience).

Any engineer could tell these idiots this. But hubris (and a bit of racism) is capable of ignoring the obvious. So I'll just sit back with my popcorn and enjoy the show....

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