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Questions and Answers

What is ASML's vision and mission?

Our vision is a world in which semiconductor technology is everywhere and helps to tackle society’s toughest challenges. We contribute to this goal by creating products and services that let our customers define the patterns that integrated circuits are made of, and we continuously raise the capabilities of our products, enabling our customers to increase the value and reduce the cost of chips.

By helping to make chips cheaper and more powerful, we help to make semiconductor technology more attractive for a larger range of products and services, which in turn enables progress in fields such as healthcare, energy, mobility and entertainment.

What is ASML's role in the industry?

ASML makes the tools for a critical manufacturing step, defining the structures that form the electrical circuits on a chip. By delivering new functionalities, better performance and lower cost with each generation, chips have spawned new products and transformed industries. We are proud to be part of this progress. This is how we enable waves of innovation that help tackle the world’s toughest challenges.

What technology does ASML develop and how does it work?

ASML creates lithography systems. The lithography system filters light through a blueprint of a chip pattern, shrinks the pattern down with optical elements like lenses, and finally prints the pattern on the photosensitive layer of a silicon wafer. When the unwanted silicon is etched away, a three-dimensional structure is revealed. Repeat it hundreds of times in dozens of layers and you are building an integrated circuit, or chip.

Our lithography systems are a hybrid of high-tech hardware and advanced software, used by our customers (the world’s top chipmakers) to mass produce chips in their factories. These systems are modular so we can service, upgrade and continuously improve them. We further enhance system performance and reliability with predictive algorithms, which optimize the blueprint of a chip for the best possible manufacturing result, and with metrology, which analyzes and corrects the chip manufacturing process in real-time.

What is lithography?

Lithography is arguably the most important and critical part of the chip production process. A chip is an integrated circuit of billions of transistors that are connected across dozens of layers. Lithography determines how a chip design can be mass produced on silicon, since it defines the size and shape of all chip components, connections and contacts. It is also critically important in making and connecting every layer of the chip.

What is ASML's global presence?

We are a multinational company with offices in 60 cities in 16 countries, headquartered in Veldhoven, the Netherlands. We employ more than 19,000 people on payroll and flexible contracts (expressed in full time equivalents). ASML is traded on Euronext Amsterdam and NASDAQ under the symbol ASML.

Where are your R&D facilities located?

Our main research and manufacturing sites are in Veldhoven (the Netherlands), Wilton (Connecticut), San Diego (California) and at our ASML Center of Excellence in Linkou (Taiwan). We cooperate closely with independent research labs at IMEC (Leuven, Belgium) and the Advanced Research Center for Nanolithography (ARCNL) in Amsterdam, as well as many universities and research institutes. As a system integrator with a value sourcing strategy, we also rely on a network of key suppliers such as VDL, ZEISS and TRUMPF to conduct research in their own fields of expertise.

What makes ASML so succesful?

Our technological leadership is fueled by fast cycles of innovation, intense collaboration with customers and suppliers, and by employing the best and brightest from all over the world.

  • We innovate across our entire product portfolio at the same pace as our customers through large and sustained investment in R&D. To accelerate our product development, we engineer in parallel what may usually happen sequentially, all the while guarding the product’s reliability, manufacturability and serviceability. This enables us to get our innovations into the hands of chipmakers faster.
  • We collaborate with chipmakers to understand how our technology best fits their needs, challenges and visions of the future. It is through this collaboration and trust that we can build for today and develop for tomorrow.
  • Our talented employees bring together technical creativity, different perspectives and multidisciplinary teamwork across time zones and cultures. We believe that even the biggest challenge can be overcome with this combination of innovation drivers. We persevere until the job’s done.
  • We expand our knowledge and skills by tapping into an ecosystem of expert suppliers for manufacturing, and academia for fundamental research. We see ourselves as architects and integrators, inspiring our partners to innovate on the cutting edge of engineering while sharing risk and reward.
How does ASML protect its intellectual property?

In a high-tech company like ASML, innovation is our lifeblood. So applying IP protection, like patents, for inventions that make us successful is vital for our future success. ASML has built a strong portfolio of more than 10,000 patent rights through sustained high investment in Research and Development, totaling more than EUR 8 billion since 2004. Patents preserve those investments and ensure freedom to operate, creating leverage to negotiate deals and vigorously defend lawsuits.

Do you sponsor events and support charities?

As a global technology leader and employer, ASML actively participates in the communities where we operate. We focus on three activities:

  • We give back to communities by supporting local charities and global education projects. If you want to request sponsoring, fill in this form and send it to sponsoring@asml.com. Requests are assessed individually by the sponsoring committee.
  • We feel a strong responsibility for the next generation of innovators. That is why we support and run science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs globally that give youth the opportunity to unlock their potential.
  • We aim to make the local communities we operate in attractive places to live for our employees.

In addition, the ASML Foundation, an independent organization, provides financial support to charities worldwide that focus on education.

When was the company established and what do the letters ASML stand for?

ASML was founded in Eindhoven (the Netherlands) in 1984. It started as a joint venture between two Dutch companies: Royal Philips Electronics and Advanced Semiconductor Materials International (ASMI). It was named ASM Lithography to complement ASM International’s subsidiary companies, which had similar names and served the semiconductor industry. In 1988, ASM International withdrew from the partnership but the company was too young to change names, so it continued as ASM Lithography. After floatation as an independent company, ‘ASML’ became well known and became the official company name, so ‘ASM Lithography’ is no longer used.

Is it possible to visit ASML?

At ASML’s headquarters in Veldhoven, the Netherlands, we organize visits for specific groups to minimize interruptions to business. In line with the type of group (press, analysts, students, etc.), requests will be passed on to the appropriate department for consideration. Please contact us through this form, stating the purpose of the visit, when you would like to come and the estimated size of the group.

For all other locations, please call or email the appropriate regional office.

Page updated on 2018-2-5 14:00 CET

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