LONDON – Lithography equipment developer ASML Holding NV (Veldhoven, The Netherlands) has said that a delay in the availability of illumination power sources has prompted it to push out revenue recognition on the first two production EUV lithography machines, currently being assembled at the company's headquarters.
Speaking to analysts on a conference call to discuss ASML's financial results for the first quarter of 2012, Peter Wennink, chief financial officer, said that assembly work has begun on 11 of the NXE:3300B EUV lithography machines currently on order. Two are scheduled for delivery in 2012 with the remainder set for delivery in the first half of 2013.
Although ASML executives were generally positive about the development of EUV lithography Wennink said: "To compensate for recent source delivery delays we have decided to alter the shipment process for the first two systems, which means that revenue will not be recognized until systems are assembled and integrated at customer sites. Therefore we do not expect revenue recognition on these tools until early 2013."
Eric Meurice, CEO of ASML, emphasized the progess made in EUV to date with six NXE:3100 pre-production machines installed and having run some 9,000 wafers in R&D at various sites around the world.
"We still do not have a proven source power in situ, which would confirm our target throughput performance. However, this was not planned for the first quarter but is planned at the end of the summer," said Meurice.
Meurice said ASML had made significant progress with sources now able to operate at 30 to 50 watts at high duty cycles and for prolonged periods, although that has yet to be proven within an assembled lithography machine. "We only need 100 watts to achieve a 60 wafer per hour machine, which some customers will find acceptable for initial production while we reach our nominal throughput specification of 125 wafers per hour," Meurice told analysts.
He added that ASML has started negotiating the next batch of orders of machines that will target customer production ramps expected in late 2013 and into 2014.
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