The Biden administration is trying to convince the Dutch government to include DUV lithography equipment in the export ban to China, according to a Bloomberg report. The issue was discussed during a trip of US Deputy Commerce Secretary Don Graves to the Netherlands about a month ago. Graves visited ASML’s headquarters and had a meeting with CEO Peter Wennink.
The US diplomatic pressure shouldn’t come as a surprise. After cutting China off from ASML’s EUV equipment, the US National Security Commission last year published recommendations for semiconductor manufacturing equipment “capable of producing chips at the 16nm node and below, particularly EUV equipment and ArF immersion lithography equipment.”
More recently, a report surfaced that the US was mulling imposing additional sanctions on SMIC, China’s largest foundry. The sales of US semiconductor outfits such as Applied Materials and Lam Research to SMIC are already restricted.
Chinese-based facilities, run by either domestic or foreign companies, account for 14.7 percent of ASML’s 18.6-billion-dollar revenue in 2021, according to Bloomberg. These revenues are derived from sales and support for DUV equipment, which, it should be noted, is a rather broad category. It includes advanced immersion systems as well as dry ArF and KrF equipment.