SAN FRANCISCO —Dutch microlithography system vendor ASML said it on track to grow sales by at least 25 percent this year after a strong third quarter characterized by strong demand for 193-nm tools and the continued ramp up deliveries for next-generation extreme ultraviolet (EUV) systems.
ASML (Veldhoven, the Netherlands) said it shipped three Twinscan NXE:3400B EUV tools in the third quarter, raising the total for the year so far too six. NXE:3400B is ASML's second-generation EUV production tool intended for volume production at the 7nm and 5nm nodes.
ASML said it currently has a backlog of 23 EUV systems, down from a backlog of 27 systems at the end of the second quarter. The company said it also demonstrated during the second quarter that its EUV pellicle — which protects the photomask from particles during exposure — is capable of withstanding 250 watts of EUV power, another important milestone in the development of EUV.
Among other third quarter highlights, ASML also announced the shipment of the first product jointly developed with the engineering team of Hermes Microvision, the Taiwanese pattern verification system vendor it bought last year for about $3.1 billion. The product, ePfm5, is a pattern fidelity metrology tool that offers customers enhanced capabilities for detecting patterning defects, ASML said.
ASML reported third quarter sales of about 2.45 billion euros (about $2.9 billion), up 17 percent compared with the second quarter. The firm reported a third quarter net income of 557 million euros (about $657 million), up 20 percent from the second quarter.
For the fourth quarter, ASML said it expects sales to slide to about 2.1 billion euros (about $2.48 billion). The firm expects its fourth quarter gross margin to be about 44 percent, up from 42.9 percent in the third quarter.
With the strong third quarter sales and fourth quarter guidance, ASML affirmed its earlier guidance that its 2017 sales will be up at least 25 percent compared to 2016.
"Our current view is that the positive business environment that we are seeing today will continue in 2018, supported by our strong backlog of 5.7 billion euros [$6.7 bill], which is driven by all product categories," said ASML President and CEO, Peter Wennink, in a press statement.
— Dylan McGrath is editor in chief of EE Times.