With well over 70% market share, lithography leader, ASML has eyed the latest phase of 300mm fab constructions as a potential revenue stream of over €7 billion through 2012, specifically from lithography tool related spending. According to only officially announced (13) new 300mm fabs, ASML noted that €1.5 billion could be spent on lithography tools from the DRAM sector, €2 billion from NAND flash and €3.5 billion from the IDM and foundry sectors combined.
In reporting full-year financial results, ASML noted that its order backlog in the fourth quarter reached €3.9 billion, a new record. IC manufacturers across all sectors had rushed to place firm orders for both technology migrations and capacity expansions late last year in an effort to secure shipments and installations in 2011 to meet growing demand and fab tool install schedules.
Key IC manufacturers building new 300mm fabs and adding capacity were said to be Rexchip and Hynix in the DRAM market; Toshiba, Samsung, Hynix and IMFS in NAND, while TSMC and Globalfoundries would lead the foundry spending and Intel and Samsung would drive spending in the IDM sector.
The new fab expansions are seeing an increased need for non-critical layer lithography tools, according to ASML’s backlog. Sales of KrF DUV tools were increasing with 19% of sales allocated to this technology in the fourth quarter. The KrF toolvalue, as per the fourth quarter, stood a 22% of the €3.9 billion backlog, while ArF was only 6% and iLine 1%.
The backlog increased to €3,856 million in the fourth quarter with 157 systems having an ASP of €27.7 million for new tools, including 67 immersion tools.
ASML also reported that 57 % of backlog or €2.2 billion of system sales carry shipment dates in the next 6 months, while 100% of the current backlog is shippable in 2011.
In 2011, sales could reach the targeted €5 billion level, according to executives holding a press conference to discuss results. Full year 2010 net sales were €4,508 million, up 182.4% versus 2009 net sales of €1,596 million.
Eric Meurice, President and Chief Executive Officer of ASML noted in the conference call that it expected to ship 5 EUV tools to customers in 2011 and further 9 in 2012. He remarked that the company was at least 5-years ahead of its rivals in delivering EUV tools for R&D and pilot line production, using the technology.
ASML’s own EUV R&D efforts would intensify this year as certain customers are targeting volume production using EUV tools in 2014.
“The fourth quarter was a strong close to a remarkable year in the history of ASML during which we achieved record sales, profit and bookings,” commented Eric Meurice. “In order to meet brisk demand for our advanced technology products as well as for our capacity tools, we almost tripled the output of our factory in 2010 compared with 2009, through expansion of our fixed and flexible workforce, and by structural cycle time improvements. In the quarter, we shipped 13 TWINSCAN XT:1950 systems, our immersion workhorse, in addition to 14 of our most advanced volume production immersion system TWINSCAN NXT:1950 which has now become the industry’s premier immersion platform capable of overlay of less than 3 nanometers (nm) in high volume production. While we have taken immersion imaging performance to the next level, we have also enhanced productivity to new record, as four immersion systems succeeded to process more than one million wafers each over 2010. During the fourth quarter, we also shipped the first of our second generation EUV systems, the NXE:3100 and successfully exposed wafers at a customer manufacturing site. In coming months, five more customers will receive their NXE:3100 systems, as EUV is now confirmed the most likely lithography platform to continue Moore’s Law towards smaller, cheaper and more energy-efficient semiconductors.”