Fire affects ASML’s computer chip machine building activities

A fire at an ASML chip machinery manufacturing plant in Berlin has affected the production of some of its key lithography equipment: the extreme ultra violet (EUV) machines that are used to make extremely small, high-performance computer chips.

The fire started in a factory at the Berlin site in the early morning of 3 January. An adjacent building also suffered smoke damage. According to reports by ASML, production in the factory has now partially resumed. Other buildings on the site remained unaffected and are fully operational.

The company, which is headquartered in Veldhoven, the Netherlands, has not yet announced the precise impact of the fire on the production of chip machinery. “We are still busy with the recovery plan for this production area and are assessing how we can minimize the potential impact on our EUV customers,” stated the high-tech company.

Wafer clamps

According to ASML, one of the affected areas is where clamps are produced for the extremely thin wafers that are used in the manufacture of semiconductors. These wafer clamps are components for EUV machines, the group’s latest generation of chip production equipment.

The fire also affected areas which manufacture components for DUVs, an older generation of lithography machines. This has also had some impact on ASML’s production activities, but the company expects to clear this backlog quickly.