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ASML is a Dutchmarker company and the largest supplier in the world of photolithography systems for the semiconductor industry. The company manufactures machines for the production of integrated circuits (ICs), such as RAM and flash memory chips and CPUs.

Products



The photolithography machines manufactured by ASML are used in the production of computer chips. In these machines, patterns are optically imaged onto a silicon wafer that is covered with a film of light-sensitive material (photoresist). This procedure is repeated over 100 times on a single wafer. The photoresist is then further processed to create the actual electronic circuits on the silicon. The optical imaging, that ASML's machines deal with, is used in the fabrication of nearly all integrated circuits, and as of 2007, ASML has 65 percent of the worldwide sales of lithography machines, with the competition consisting of Canon and Nikon. As of 2008, their high-end Twinscan XT:1950 system is specified to produce features of 38 nanometers at up to 131 wafers per hour, using a water immersion lens and an argon fluoride laser that produces light at a wavelength of 193 nm. As of 2008, an average lithography machine costs 22 million euros. As of 2009, ASML is developing machines that use 13.5 nm wavelength extreme ultraviolet light. On 22 April 2009, the Belgian research center Imecmarker presented the world’s first functional 22 nm CMOS SRAM memory cells made using ASML's prototype EUV lithography machine.

Company

ASML’s corporate headquarters is in Veldhovenmarker, the Netherlandsmarker. It is also the location for research, development, manufacturing and assembly. ASML has a worldwide customer base and over sixty service points in sixteen countries. The company is listed on both the AEX and NASDAQ Stock Exchanges, as ASML.

ASML was founded in 1984 as a joint venture between the Dutch companies Advanced Semiconductor Materials International (ASMI) and Philips. Nowadays it is a public company with only a minority of the shares owned by Philips.

At the end of 2008, ASML experienced a large drop in sales, which led the management to cut work-fore by about 1000 worldwide - mostly contract workers and apply for support from the Dutch national unemployment fund to prevent even larger lay-offs.

References

  1. ASML Press release 2007 quarter 4
  2. Press release 2008 quarter 3
  3. IMEC presents functional 22nm SRAM cells fabricated using EUV technology. IMEC press release, 22 April 2009.
  4. ASML corporate history
  5. ASML Takes Action to Adjust Its Organization Due to Severe Order Slowdown Press release.
  6. ASML Cutting Workforce 10%; Goldman Upgrades To Buy. Barron's Blogs


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