The press release contains an update about the company's EUV lithography efforts, a long-delayed technique that is currently expected to make its entry in 2018 on sub-7nm nodes. ASML says there are now eight NXE:3300B systems in use at customer sites.
The firm took orders from a major US customer (presumably Intel) for six EUV systems in the quarter, with two expected to ship this year, and four from next year. The statement also notes ASML demonstrated an EUV machine with dose-controlled source power of 130W and mentions its EUV machines are achieving average availability of above 70 percent at multiple customer sites. One client reportedly achieved 70 percent over four weeks.
"We posted second-quarter sales and gross margin that were slightly above our guidance. Sales were balanced between memory and logic customers. As part of a previously announced volume purchasing agreement with a major U.S. customer, we took orders for six EUV systems in the quarter. Of those, two are expected to be shipped this year, and four from next year. As a result, the backlog for EUV systems now stands at eight systems," ASML President and Chief Executive Officer Peter Wennink said.
"Given the recent advances in EUV productivity and availability, we believe that EUV is moving closer to volume production. In preparation for pilot production, several customers have run or are running marathon tests on their NXE:3300B systems. In parallel, customers are evaluating how far they can stretch immersion multiple patterning technology. The decision on when to introduce EUV into production and the timing of the corresponding orders will be determined by the production readiness of EUV systems versus the complexity of multiple patterning. System availability is our main focus in increasing production readiness of EUV," Wennink said.
"We expect to see continued overall business strength in the second half of 2015 due to increased demand from memory and foundry customers compared with our previous expectations. Underpinned by an anticipated strong service business, this will allow for a stable business outlook at expected Q3 levels for the balance of the year with some upside opportunity."
Q2 Product Highlights
In deep-UV immersion, we have demonstrated a 30 percent overlay improvement with our TWINSCAN NXT:1980Di system, which is expected to ship this year. The system will also offer a step up in productivity from 250 wafers per hour to 275 wafers per hour. The average availability of our world-wide installed base of more than 300 TWINSCAN NXT tools increased to above 96 percent, demonstrating ASML's focus on extending the performance of systems already in production. All immersion systems shipped during the quarter had one or several Holistic Lithography products attached. The integrated YieldStar metrology system is well established, contributing to a total installed base of more than 250 YieldStar systems. ASML application experts are engaged at all major customers to assist with the production ramp of 10nm logic node and 1x memory nodes. In EUV, the number of NXE:3300B systems in use at customer sites rose to eight. With regards to EUV productivity, which is driven by source power and system availability, we demonstrated dose-controlled source power of 130 Watts at ASML and average availability of above 70 percent at multiple customer sites for one-week periods, with one customer achieving 70 percent over four weeks. ASML opened a new EUV factory in Veldhoven, enabling us to ship in volume when customers begin their production ramps.