Dutch semiconductor equipment leader ASML announced it shipped a record 10 next-gen extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography machines in Q4 2017. As you may know, EUV is the next big step in chip manufacturing. Traditional immersion lithography is hitting the limits of what's physically possible, so the entire industry will need to switch to EUV in the near future. EUV technology has been in the works for a long time, it turned out to be a lot more complicated than originally anticipated, and was delayed many times.
Now the technology has finally matured enough to be feasible for mass production. The first implementation of EUV is expected late this year or early 2019.
Peter Wennink, ASML's president and CEO, said "preparations for inserting EUV into high-volume chip manufacturing shifted into a higher gear" in 2017.
ASML's latest EUV machines are capable of hitting a throughput of 125 wafers per hour, the goal that was set to enable mass production.