Monday, September 4, 2023

Netherlands' chip tool export controls take effect for DUV Lithography and ALD

The Netherlands has enacted new export controls on cutting-edge chipmaking technology, joining the US and Japan in regulating these crucial tools. The new move, effective from September 1, targets advanced chip manufacturing equipment used in processes like deep ultraviolet (DUV) lithography and atomic layer deposition (ALD) - an add-on to previous EUV Lithography export restrictions. 

Dutch company ASML, a global leader in chipmaking equipment, will continue shipments of some advanced machines this year, but starting January 1, it expects limited export licenses for systems bound for domestic Chinese customers. 
The Dutch government says it is a matter of the country's security. "We've taken this step on national security grounds," Liesje Schreinemacher, the minister for foreign trade and development cooperation, said of the new rules.
ASM International, a Dutch company, holds a significant position in the ALD market. Renowned for its ALD equipment, ASM International plays a vital role in semiconductor manufacturing by enabling precise and thin material layering on wafers. This technology is essential for advanced chip production, impacting various industries. Its role emphasizes the impact of export controls on crucial semiconductor processes and global technology supply chains.

The regulations, driven by national security concerns, cover tools vital for producing memory chips, processors, and sensors. Chinese chipmakers have reportedly accelerated purchases of equipment ahead of the rules taking effect. China's responses include its own export curbs and efforts to bolster domestic semiconductor capabilities. The situation reflects the evolving landscape of technology export controls and their impact on international supply chains.


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