2012 - A year of new partnerships
To accelerate the development of next-generation lithography technologies, ASML and three of its large customers – Intel, TSMC and Samsung – conclude the Customer Co-Investment Program. Under the program, the three customers contribute 1.38 billion euros to ASML’s research and development of next-generation lithography technologies over five years. As part of the program, but separate from the R&D contribution, Intel, TSMC and Samsung acquire ASML shares equal to an aggregate 23 percent minority stake with limited voting rights.
Later in the year, ASML agrees to acquire U.S. light source manufacturer Cymer, to secure and accelerate the development of light sources for Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) lithography.
ASML's headcount grows by almost 750 to 10,636 employees (expressed in full-time equivalents), including 2,139 employees on flexible contracts, driven by the commitment for R&D contributions from the Customer Co-Investment Program. ASML expands its development team for 450 mm scanners for introduction later in the decade.
2011 – A record year amid macro-economic uncertainty
Despite macro-economic uncertainty, ASML posts record sales for the second year in a row at 5.65 billion euros, showing that the fundamentals of the lithography business remain robust.
The company continues its dual product leadership strategy: on the one hand, boosting productivity and overlay accuracy of its TWINSCAN NXT immersion lithography systems for volume chip production, on the other hand continuing the development of EUV, the next-generation technology.
The number of TWINSCAN NXT:1950i systems in use at chip makers crosses the 100 mark, two years after the platform was launched. The productivity of the system increases by up to 20% as the throughput rises to 200 wafers per hour.
ASML builds a 6,900 m2 extension of its cleanroom to boost production capacity for EUV and ships the remaining NXE:3100 EUV systems to its customers, who begin to develop chip manufacturing processes for the new technology. Late in the year, the company begins assembly of the successor machine, NXE:3300B.
2009 – Downturn and recovery
The financial crisis pushes countries around the globe into recession, and the world economy shrinks for the first time after decades of uninterrupted growth. The semiconductor industry is no exception, and at the start of the year, ASML must report that chip makers have all but frozen capital spending. The company reacts by cutting into costs and shedding employees, but maintains strategic spending, notably 467 million euros for Research & Development, to protect its technology leadership.
Midway through the year, the chip industry is one of the first global sectors to recover, and as orders pick up, ASML is able to rehire part of the employees that were laid off earlier in the year. Underlining the robustness of its business model and its ability to deal with cyclical swings, ASML generates a positive cash flow from operations in 2009 despite a significant drop in revenue.
As part of ASML's Holistic Lithography push, the company also introduces two new products: FlexRay, a programmable array of tiny mirrors that gives chip makers unprecedented choice of pupil shapes, and BaseLiner, which keeps scanner performance within tight specifications.
2008 - The immersion pool becomes an ocean
By mid 2008, ASML has an installed base of 100 immersion systems with 20 customers. The total system pool has exposed nearly 20 million wafers at a global production rate of more than 1 million wafers-per-month. ASML’s immersion systems, which were first shipped in 2004, have now become a fully-fledged manufacturing ocean.
ASML announces a new TWINSCAN™ system to extend single-patterning immersion lithography to the limit. The XT:1950i increases the performance of its immersion lithography systems by 25%, offering improved overlay, resolution and throughput. It also enables high-volume manufacturing of more powerful 38 nanometer (nm) memory and ‘32’ nm logic semiconductors.
ASML announces a new TWINSCAN platform: NXT™. The new platform brings overlay and productivity breakthroughs to power the next phase of semiconductor manufacturing: it addresses technical and economic challenges in an holistic way, enabling a more seamless adoption of double patterning.
2007 - ASML ships TWINSCAN XT:1900i
The first TWINSCAN XT:1900i is shipped — the world’s only lithography system capable of imaging features down to 36.5 nanometers on chips manufactured in volume. ASML’s 300 mm i-line systems achieve an unprecedented productivity of almost 3600 wafers-per-day for non-critical layers.
Protecting Intellectual Property is now of strategic importance and ASML celebrates the issue of its 1000th US patent.
The ASML Center of Excellence (ACE) opens in Taiwan to support Asian customers and the total workforce grows to 6400 employees.
By Q4, there are more than 60 ASML TWINSCAN immersion systems in customer fabs. Together, these have processed more than 5 million wafers using water-based immersion technology. These systems have become the de facto standard for processing the critical layers on 300 mm wafers at the 45 nm node.
2006 - ASML ships the world's first EUV Alpha Demo Tools
ASML increases sales by 42 percent compared with 2005 and ships 266 systems in 2006. The TWINSCAN™ XT:1450 dry 193-nm ArF system is announced targeting high-volume sub-60-nm applications. It can also support development of 32-nm node double-patterning processes. ASML ships the world's first extreme ultraviolet (EUV, 13.5 nm source) Alpha Demo Tools (ADTs) to the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) at Albany, N.Y., and IMEC in Leuven, Belgium. ASML acquires Brion Technologies, the leader in the rapidly growing field of computational lithography, which covers lithography-aware IC design verification, resolution enhancement technologies (RET) and optical proximity correction (OPC).