The global chip crunch is basically a meme of its own at this point. It seems like the hits are coming one after the other, be it limited capacities, employees on leave, logistics issues or even GPU theft, it seems like we’re still Have a long way to go before we can go to a store on Main Street and buy a console or other GPU at MSRP.
Chip supply is not just a question of wafer capacity, however. Semiconductor production requires innumerable components, tools and machines that form a very complex supply chain. Dutch photolithography specialist ASML (Advanced Semiconductor Material Lithography) is an important part of this chain, and the news is getting through ZDnet that ASML suffered a fire in one of its plants in Berlin.
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The fire damaged one part of a production area while smoke was pouring into another. Fortunately, no injuries have been reported and ASML states that part of the facility is already operational. However, it is EUV production system remains offline, and that’s the worrying part. Extreme Ultra Violet Lithography is used to make the most advanced chips available including the advanced 5nm nodes.
ASML supplies equipment and tools to companies like Samsung and TSMC. With both companies currently expanding rapidly, all they need is interruptions. These kinds of things have an impact on the effects that eventually reach the players. The shelves in the shops are already pretty empty, so we can all avoid such disruptions. End users will not see an immediate impact, but if EUV tooling production goes offline for an extended period of time, the impact could be felt in the coming months.
ASML is likely to release an update during its conference call scheduled for January 19th. Undoubtedly, there have been many calls between all the companies involved to assess the potential impact of a lengthy EUV production stop. Cheaper GPUs may not be coming as fast as we’d hope.
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