Fire At ASML Could Worsen Global Computer Chip Shortage

ASML Holding has reported a fire at its factory in Berlin, Germany. No one was hurt and the fire was put out on Sunday night, but the incident could exacerbate the current global computer chip shortage. Here's what ASML said about the incident: The fire was extinguished during the night and fortunately no persons were injured during this incident. At this point it is too early to make any statement on the damage or whether the incident will have any impact on the output plan for this year. It will take a few days to conduct a thorough investigation and make a full assessment. As soon as we have such assessment, we will provide an update. The Register reports: ASML is the world's largest supplier of photolithography systems, the machines used to manufacture integrated circuits. Its units -- which cost tens of millions of dollars -- use lasers to etch components into blank silicon wafers, to within an accuracy of nanometers. Berliner Glas, where the fire was extinguished, was acquired by ASML in 2020, and says that over "1,200 employees" work at the firm, now known as ASML Berlin, developing and producing "several key components for ASML lithography systems, including wafer tables and clamps, reticle chucks and mirror blocks." These are key components for extreme ultraviolet (EUV) and deep ultraviolet (DUV) systems. EUV, in particular, which helps ASML's semiconductor-making clients print chips in much finer detail and at a lower cost, is seen as one of the drivers behind the firm's predictions of a $1 trillion semiconductor industry by 2030. The Dutch firm's customers include TSMC and Intel. Berlin's fire department said last night that an automatic cleaning system had caught fire across an area of 200m^2 on the second floor of a three-storey "industrial" building in Waldkraiburger Strasse in Berlin's Britz district in the Neukolln area. Resources deployed at the site included a drone that could access the roof. The Berlin company's stated production area is 31,780m^2. A spokesperson confirmed to The Register that a part of the Berlin factory was closed -- but said other parts of the factory were still operating. The firm's stock price dipped 2 per cent on the news.

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