SMIC yesterday announced an order with ASML for the purchase of ASML products used in the production of wafers for a total amount of $1.2 billion. Today ASML clarified this statement.
The Dutch equipment giant said that the purchase orders relate to an existing agreement for DUV lithography that was already entered into on January 1, 2018, and that would run originally until December 31, 2020, and which was extended on February 1, 2021, to be valid until end December 2021.
ASML said the total order amount was completed in the past 12 months between March 16, 2020, and March 2, 2021, totaling $1.2 billion.
ASML said this is not a material event for ASML, but it constitutes a disclosable event for SMIC under the Hong Kong listing rules.
EUV lithography is indispensable equipment for the production of 5nm chips. Shanghai Securities News quoted senior industry sources as saying that SMIC can buy almost all types of lithography machines, including DUV lithography machines, in addition to EUV lithography machines.
Earlier, ASML's CFO said in a video interview at an earnings meeting that if the overall implications of the relevant rules for AMSL are broadly understood, ASML will be able to supply DUV lithography systems to Chinese customers (including SMIC) from the Netherlands without an export license.
ASML is one of the world's largest manufacturers of semiconductor equipment, with its main business being the development and production of photolithography machines, and is an absolute leader in the world.
Specifically, ASML holds an 85% share of the high-end lithography market for processes below 45nm, and an absolute monopoly in the EUV (Extreme Ultraviolet) lithography field with a 100% market share.