On November 3, global vice president of global lithography machine giant ASML and president of China, Shen Bo said in an exclusive interview with The Paper that this round of chip expansion cycle has affected the delivery of ASML lithography machines, and some products are delivered. The period is doubled. Shen Bo said that ASML is already expanding production capacity and using the company’s safety stock to improve delivery, but due to the long industrial chain, there is no way to fully meet user needs for the time being. “But we treat every customer in the world equally, and there is no price increase even when production capacity increases.”
Shen Bo also emphasized that the company is open to the export of integrated circuit lithography machines to China and fully supports it under the framework of laws and regulations. At present, except for EUV lithography machines that cannot be supplied to Chinese customers, other products of ASML can be shipped normally.
ASML, headquartered in the Netherlands, is a global chip manufacturing equipment manufacturer and a leading company in chip lithography technology. The lithography machine is the core equipment for manufacturing chips. ASML has more than 29,000 employees worldwide, including 1,200 Chinese employees.
Shen Bo, Vice President of ASML and President of China
Participating in the CIIE will make more people understand ASML
The lithography machine has attracted much attention because it is an important part of the chip manufacturing process. ASML has also become a “net celebrity” company in China, and its popularity has greatly increased, but in fact, many people do not have a deep understanding of ASML.
Shen Bo said that ASML wants to use the stage of participating in the CIIE to let more people know more about ASML and lithography products. “Constrained by the huge size of the lithography machine and the strict working environment requirements, we have no way to move it to the Expo site, but we demonstrate through the form of video how the lithography machine works during the manufacturing process of the chip. Let everyone have a more intuitive understanding.”
Shen Bo also said that in recent years, as the chip industry has been deployed in various parts of China, people participating in the CIIE at the provincial and municipal government levels are also very interested in ASML and hope to help them understand the chip industry.
The complexity of the new round of industry cycles is not completely clear
Due to the global shortage of chips and new demands such as smart cars and the Internet of Things, major integrated circuit foundries around the world are undergoing a new round of capacity expansion.
Earlier, TSMC stated that in the next three years, the company will invest 100 billion U.S. dollars globally to expand production and develop advanced manufacturing processes; in addition,Intel,Samsung, SMIC, etc. have substantial expansion plans.
These chip foundry production lines all require ASML’s lithography machine, therefore, ASML is also undergoing a new round of capacity expansion.
However, Shen Bo said that the expansion of ASML is not a company’s business, and that companies in the supply chain need to work together to help expand production. “For example, the lens in the lithography machine is customized for us by other companies. If we want to expand our production, we need the full cooperation of the lens supplier. Many of the parts are precision-machined, and the technical requirements are very complicated, and we need to have experience. Technicians come to help realize large-scale industrial production. For example, some parts are as complex as a beam of light on the earth hits the moon and the error cannot exceed the size of a dollar coin. This difficulty is very high. The whole process is relatively complicated.”
In addition, ASML has thousands of suppliers, and each of these suppliers must cooperate and expand production capacity at the same time. Integration is not easy. “A slight supply problem will affect the product cycle.” Shen Bo said, “About 85% of our parts are provided by suppliers, and ASML’s work is integration. Of course, sometimes integration is more difficult than manufacturing. “
As for when this round of chip shortages can return to normal supply, Shen Bo said: “ASML is also under observation. The chip industry chain is long and has the characteristics of high globalization. To solve the problem of chip shortage requires industry collaboration. Now the whole industry is working hard to overcome this difficulty.”
The Chinese market accounts for about 30% of ASML’s global sales
Shen Bo said that in recent years, the Chinese market has accounted for about 30% of ASML’s global lithography machine sales. At present, except for EUV lithography machines (extreme ultraviolet lithography machines) that cannot be sold in China, other lithography machine products are normal to China. Customer sales.
“The installed capacity of ASML in China is close to 1,000. The current products can support customers’ demand for mature and advanced products, improve efficiency and optimize costs for customers. The headquarters’ requirements for us are to serve customers well and provide customer support.” Shen Bo said that ASML has 1,200 employees in China and 600 are doing service support.
“Each of our customers has our support staff. If there is a problem with the machine, we will help the customer solve the problem as soon as possible. Because downtime means loss, we must help customers resume production as soon as possible and respond to customer needs in a timely manner.” It was revealed that there was a problem with the customer’s machine when the epidemic was severe last year, and the German engineers were unable to make it. As a result, the Chinese engineers were sent to Germany to study and then returned to China to solve the problem.
Shen Bo said that ASML is very transparent to customers, and customers are also very transparent to ASML. Based on this long-term trust relationship, the price of ASML’s lithography machine has not increased in this round.
In addition to ASML, the world’s major lithography machine companies also include Japan’s Canon and Nikon, but ASML occupies 80% of the global lithography machine market.
Shen Bo said that ASML has been able to succeed because it has absorbed the wisdom of the world and relied on open innovation to continue to grow.
“If China is going to give birth to a great lithography machine company, then this company must also be in the world. Do you say that ASML is only Dutch? ASML is a global company. The chip industry is highly divided in the world, and lithography The machine can be said to be the crystallization of human wisdom. No matter who does it, first you have to consider the ability to gather everyone’s wisdom. You can’t do things behind closed doors in this area.” Shen Bo said that ASML also welcomes competition. If a person joins this industry, there will be innovation only when there is competition.