Advanced semiconductor equipment manufacturer, ASML, has reported more than a threefold increase in orders during the last quarter, reaching a record $9.98bn (€9.19bn).
This surge, detailed in a statement today (24th Jan), signifies a resurgence in the semiconductor industry, with demand soaring for ASML’s most advanced machines.
The fourth-quarter figures mark a substantial rise from the $2.8bn (€2.6bn) recorded in the preceding quarter, demonstrating an unprecedented demand for ASML’s cutting-edge technology. The company’s shares saw an uptick, rising by as much as 7.5% – the most significant increase since November 2022.
ASML’s position as the sole producer of equipment essential for manufacturing sophisticated semiconductors positions the company as a bellwether for the overall industry.
Notably, over half of the bookings in the last quarter were attributed to extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography machines, amounting to $6.1bn (€5.6bn).
The positive trend in demand was further supported by strong orders from China in 2023, as Chinese chipmakers rushed to acquire lithography machines ahead of Dutch export restrictions.
China emerged as a significant market for ASML, contributing 39% of sales in the fourth quarter and becoming the company’s largest market in 2023, up from 8% in January to March.
Despite the impressive growth, ASML faced challenges from the US effort to limit exports of cutting-edge technology to China. President Joe Biden’s administration urged the Dutch government to restrict ASML from shipping some immersion deep ultraviolet lithography machines to China.
ASML, already restricted from selling its most advanced EUV machines to China, anticipates that up to 15% of its China sales in 2024 may be affected by new export control measures.
In an executive briefing on AI, research company GlobalData noted that AI chips have been significantly affected by geopolitical tensions between the US and China as both countries have ambitions to become a leader in AI.
GlobalData reported in its briefing that the global semiconductor industry is now worth over $600bn, having achieved a CAGR of 8.3% between 2017 and 2022.
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