The World Most Important Company (ASML)

King In Semiconductor

The U.S. government is really worried about China’s ambitions when it comes to making microchips. But so far- China has NOT gotten its hands on a very important machine sold by just ONE company. We all know how Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing company makes over 90 % of the smallest and most sophisticated chips in the world. Their semiconductors chips power everything from fridges to F-35 fighter jets. In other words, they make civilization function. And this company is called ASML.

ALL About ASML Company

A Dutch company called ASML. ASML high-end equipment prints the tiny features that form the basis of TSMC’s microchips. Microchips are made by bildings up billion of tiny transistors. An ASML machine patterns the finest lines on the microchips using a method called Lithography. The projection system shrinks and focused the pattern onto a silicon wafer. After the pattern is printed, it moves the wafer slightly and makes another copy on the wafer. They are built up layer by layer, like layering a cake except much more complicated because this involves up to 100 layers with nanometer precision.

The most transistors can be added to a chip, the more powerful the chip becomes. ASML is the only company in the world that makes the machine need to print advanced microchips. It manufactures equipment factories in Veldhoven, Netherlands.

Initial Days Of ASML

The company was founded in 1984 as a joint venture between the electronics giant Philips and the Dutch chip-machine manufacturer ASM International. ASML is now an independent company. It has a monopoly on EUV lithography, “extreme ultraviolet light” – and an extremely short wavelength of light that can create even tinier circuitry than is possible with conventional lithography which relies on Deep UV. EVU light doesn’t occur naturally on earth – only in outer spaces. So ASML must generate it somehow. To generate the light, a CO2 laser fires two laser pulses at a drop of tin, vaporizing it. The tin vapor becomes plasma which emits EUV light. This happens at a rate of 50 000 times a second!

Problems With Chip Making Industry

The machines are essential in clean rooms containing zero dust. These rooms are 10,000 times more clear than the outside air. Even the smallest speck of dust that ends up on a wafer can ruin it. The company’s decision to switch to EUV light in the nineties gave it an astounding advantage. It cost billions of dollars to make the radical switch in light sources, but the effort has paid off big time. ASML is now valued at around $193 billion dollars. The EUV equipment is sold to the largest chipmaker in the world: TSMC, Samsung, and Intel. Every one of its machines has over 100,000 parts. They’re shipped in 40 freight containers, 20 trucks, and three Boeing 747s. Like the rest of the world, China also relies on ASML machines for Chinese companies that are producing semiconductor chips. But in 2019, the Trump administration successfully lobbied the Dutch government to block the shipment of ASML’s most sophisticated machines to China, and the Biden administration has shown no signs of reversing that policy.

Main Business Partner Of ASML

How ASML is not restricted from exporting slightly older technology to China. ASNL’s older deep ultraviolet systems are a generation behind the EUV ones but still, the most common way to make less advanced chips. In 2021, 16% of ASML’s sales went to China, around 2.2 billion dollars’ worth. The company expected similar figures for 2022. And this is a very big concern for the world because we all know that made-in-China goods are available in the market of all countries whether it is Europe or Africa. If China gets easy access to these microchips then they must start producing large numbers of goods for the Global market hence in times of war they can weaponize this electronic product as a weapon.

The U.S. Warnings To ASML

Washington has been trying to hamper chins’ ship-making process in many ways. When president Biden signed the Chips act in August, It include a caveat that if TSMC or other companies want billions in U.S. subsidies for building new plants in America, they have to agree not to sell their most advanced chips to China. Washington has also been pushing ASML even to stop shipping its less sophisticated chip-making machines to China. This could deal a serious blow to Chinese company SMIC which has been reported to be making 7-nanometer semiconductor chips that are only a generation behind the 5-nanometer ones manufactured by TSMC and Samsung.

If Washington gets its way, even ASML’s older lithography equipment could be banned from China. China could start producing its own lithography systems if it wants to become self-reliant. However, analysts it would take China at least a decade to build its own equipment that could rival ASML’s. ASML’s CEO Peter Wennnik believes it will be difficult but not impossible. He says: “I am not saying it cannot be done because I know the laws of physics are the same in China as they are here. Never say never. They will certainly try.” Sophisticated machines like lithography systems cannot be built without brilliant engineers who have mastered STEM.

How To Learn Making Semiconductor

There are many apps in the market that will teach you how to learn to make microchips and if you want to learn from these apps how to make a small microchip then first of all you need to brush up on your math, science, and computer science skills, Brilliant is a great way to learn interactively. I use Brilliant myself to help improve my critical thinking skills by going through their Logic courses. I’ve noticed my viewers especially love the Computer Science Fundamentals course where you can learn to program drones in an Amazon warehouse. There’s something for everyone: You can solve puzzles with science through their Scientific Thinking courses. or practical Everyday Math by seeing numbers in a new light. There are no tests Brilliant, and it’s for people of all experience levels whether you’re a student or already working. If you get stuck, you can view the explanation to see whether you went wrong.

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