Paul van Gerven
22 December 2020

It’s unclear whether SMIC will keep ordering lithography scanners from ASML after the Chinese foundry Friday joined Huawei on the US blacklist. Even if ASML would be allowed to continue shipping DUV systems to China, SMIC might not need them as long as it doesn’t have access to other types of advanced semiconductor processing equipment.

Credit: ASML

In a way, the extended boycott is fair to ASML, since the US has been successfully pressuring the Dutch government to withhold ASML an export license for EUV scanners to China. Meanwhile US suppliers of advanced equipment continued to do business there unimpeded. The downside is potentially losing SMIC’s DUV business, at least for the time being. It is unknown how much that would impact sales, but recently ASML projected 1 billion euros in sales to Chinese customers for this year.

While the EUV restriction didn’t faze ASML much, as it believes its EUV scanners will sell out one way or another, CEO Peter Wennink is more cautious about the recent developments. “We are still investigating how this will impact us. This will take a few weeks,” he told Eindhovens Dagblad.