Japan’s Canon chipmaking tools outperform expectations

Japan’s Canon said on Tuesday that it is outperforming expectations with the early interest in its new lithography chipmaking machines due to its significant efforts to close the gap with the Dutch company ASML.

ASML has managed to become the most valuable tech company in Europe with its extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography machines, which use beams of light to create circuitry and are employed by TSMC and Intel to create cutting-edge chips.

The Japanese company unveiled last October its latest nanoimprint lithography machines, which use a stamp to imprint circuit patterns directly onto wafers, emphasising on the instruments’ low cost and low power consumption, with industry discussion centered on their prospects.

Minoru Asada, head of Canon’s finance and accounting headquarters, told reporters that “there has been a bigger response than we expected,” yet it is too soon to tell when the machines will boost Canon sales.

The company wants to start producing memory chips on its machinery before branching out, Asada added.

Buoyed by the growing demand for power chips and graphics processing units (GPU) for artificial intelligence tasks, Canon expects it would sell 247 of its current lithography machines in the financial year ending in December, up from 187 units the previous year.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited (TSMC) and Intel among other companies use these devices to make advanced chips.

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