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Thread: Strong Q3-2017 results ASML

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    Strong Q3-2017 results ASML

    Q3 Sales Strong Across the Full Product Portfolio - Very Strong Demand for DUV Systems, EUV Shipments Continue to Ramp in Support of Customer Plans:

    CEO Statement
    "ASML today reports third-quarter net sales that exceed our guidance, partially due to the revenue recognition of an additional EUV system, showing strong demand across the entire product portfolio. With our fourth-quarter guidance, we are confirming our view that 2017 net sales will be at least 25 percent higher than 2016 net sales. Our current view is that the positive business environment that we are seeing today will continue in 2018, supported by our strong backlog of 5.7 billion euros, which is driven by all product categories," ASML President and Chief Executive Officer Peter Wennink said.


    Regarding pellicles ASML explicitly states:
    "We also conducted a power capability test with our EUV pellicle, which protects the mask from particles during exposure, and showed that the current design can withstand 250 Watts of EUV power."


    Full info here: Q3 results link.

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    Mostly memory buyers and no new EUV orders?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Nenni View Post
    Mostly memory buyers and no new EUV orders?
    From listening to the investors call and the presentation material I understand the following:

    current backlog of EUV=23 units of which 6 will ship in Q4-17. That leaves 17 orders for 2018 plus 4 upgrades to NXE3400. I think they have capacity in 2018 of 20 new EUV plus 4 upgrades. So, you would think there are still 3 units for sale / not assigned in the 2018 EUV capacity. CEO Peter Wennink said they expect new EUV orders in Q4-17, the current quarter.

    In the conference call Wennink gave the impression that the demand for 2019 from customers was larger than the 30 units they have planned for now. At some point he mentioned demand was some 30% higher, which would make demand for 2019 around 38-40 units or so. The bottleneck is in the capacity of the EUV lens system that is made by Zeiss, so they are discussing with Zeiss if capacity for 2019 can be increased. Also they want to speed up manufacturing/delivery time from 24 months to 18 months in 2019.

    In the call Wennink also gave the impression that the customers want to speed up the development of the high-NA next-generation EUV tool that is scheduled for ~2022 or so. Wennink said that if customers want that tool earlier, they have to invest extra in some sort of co-investment agreement so that Zeiss can speed up development/manufacturing of that new high-NA lens system. The EUV light source will be the same/similar as it is now, apart from incremental improvements during the years. It seems ASML is in detailed discussions with customers about that co-investment process regarding high-NA EUV.

    I was quite impressed with the large number of iArF DUV tools they shipped in Q3-17, 22 units, and their DUV backlog has increased to 43 units from 34 in Q2-17.

    Maybe tomorrow the conference call transcript is available....

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    Interesting. Im on my way to Taiwan and I will check in with my litho friends. Last I heard 5 layers can be EUV for 7nm but they may get to 10.


    Quote Originally Posted by user nl View Post
    From listening to the investors call and the presentation material I understand the following:

    current backlog of EUV=23 units of which 6 will ship in Q4-17. That leaves 17 orders for 2018 plus 4 upgrades to NXE3400. I think they have capacity in 2018 of 20 new EUV plus 4 upgrades. So, you would think there are still 3 units for sale / not assigned in the 2018 EUV capacity. CEO Peter Wennink said they expect new EUV orders in Q4-17, the current quarter.

    In the conference call Wennink gave the impression that the demand for 2019 from customers was larger than the 30 units they have planned for now. At some point he mentioned demand was some 30% higher, which would make demand for 2019 around 38-40 units or so. The bottleneck is in the capacity of the EUV lens system that is made by Zeiss, so they are discussing with Zeiss if capacity for 2019 can be increased. Also they want to speed up manufacturing/delivery time from 24 months to 18 months in 2019.

    In the call Wennink also gave the impression that the customers want to speed up the development of the high-NA next-generation EUV tool that is scheduled for ~2022 or so. Wennink said that if customers want that tool earlier, they have to invest extra in some sort of co-investment agreement so that Zeiss can speed up development/manufacturing of that new high-NA lens system. The EUV light source will be the same/similar as it is now, apart from incremental improvements during the years. It seems ASML is in detailed discussions with customers about that co-investment process regarding high-NA EUV.

    I was quite impressed with the large number of iArF DUV tools they shipped in Q3-17, 22 units, and their DUV backlog has increased to 43 units from 34 in Q2-17.

    Maybe tomorrow the conference call transcript is available....

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    Quote Originally Posted by user nl View Post

    Regarding pellicles ASML explicitly states:
    "We also conducted a power capability test with our EUV pellicle, which protects the mask from particles during exposure, and showed that the current design can withstand 250 Watts of EUV power."


    Full info here: Q3 results link.

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    They probably did not test in hydrogen in a tool itself. 250W was demonstrated standalone not integrated.

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    TSMC just confirmed only a few EUV layers at N7+ on their conference call

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Nenni View Post
    Interesting. Im on my way to Taiwan and I will check in with my litho friends. Last I heard 5 layers can be EUV for 7nm but they may get to 10.
    5 EUV layers is correct for N7+, mask count saving is 10 layers -- this might be the reason for the two numbers you heard...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Nenni View Post
    Mostly memory buyers and no new EUV orders?
    Not sure how reliable this source is:

    Keeping Leadership In 7-Nano Era

    Samsung Electronics Seeks to Buy Up Next-gen Semiconductor Mfg Equipment
    SEOUL,KOREA

    20 October 2017 - 10:00am

    Cho Jin-young

    Samsung Electronics is buying up next-generation semiconductor manufacturing equipment that cost 200 billion won (US$176.52 million) per unit,
    As Samsung Electronics buys up next-generation semiconductor manufacturing equipment that cost 200 billion won (US$176.52 million) per unit, the company is trying to gaining a competitive edge in the advanced technology of micro-processing lower than the 7-nanometer (nm).

    According to industry sources on October 19, Samsung Electronics is considering a plan to purchase 10 extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography tools from the Netherlands-based ASML, the biggest semiconductor equipment maker in the world.

    Samsung is now in talks to buy 10 EUV lithography tools and it is almost the equivalent to the total number of EUV lithography tools that ASML can be produced a year. ASML believes that it can produce about 12 EUV lithography tools this year. It is the only company that manufactures EUV lithography tools in the world.
    Since Samsung Electronics has been exclusively buying next-generation semiconductor production equipment before its competitors, the company is seeking to overwhelm its competitors again with the same strategy, according to market watchers. In this regard, Samsung Electronics and ASML said, “We cannot officially confirm the fact.”

    Keeping Leadership in 7-nano Era: Samsung Electronics Seeks to Buy Up Next-gen Semiconductor Mfg Equipment | BusinessKorea



    If true it must be the last 3 units of the not-sold yet 2018 capacity (in total 20 new NXE3400 + 4 upgrades), and 7 units of the 2019 capacity (>30 units). To really buy up the 2019 capacity that will be some >23 units more....

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    Quote Originally Posted by IanD View Post
    5 EUV layers is correct for N7+, mask count saving is 10 layers -- this might be the reason for the two numbers you heard...
    I'm no expert in this. Not sure to which N7 process (SAMSUNG, TSMC, INTEL, IMEC?) this slide of ASML refers, it suggests 10 layers by EUV, with 5 (additional) candidate layers. See slide 17 in ASML's Q2 presentation from 17 July 2017 here:

    https://staticwww.asml.com/doclib/in...on_Q2_2017.pdf

    Any comments by experts are appreciated. Thanks,

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    Quote Originally Posted by IanD View Post
    5 EUV layers is correct for N7+, mask count saving is 10 layers -- this might be the reason for the two numbers you heard...
    5 layers for TSMC 7nm and 10 layers for Samsung 7nm.

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    No new EUV orders suggests test/digestion of new tool Memory @ 77% orders = huge "exp

    ASML reported a good quarter, coming in at revenues of Euro2.5B versus guide of Euro2.2B and EPS of Euro1.29 versus guide of Euro1.07. 22 ArF units were shipped versus 16 in the prior quarter a sharp uptick which we think is reflective of the early wave of memory business.

    No new EUV orders were received, versus 8 last quarter, which we think implies a "digestion" period where customers are trying to figure out if the new tool is all that ASML has promised. It does appear that the new tool has fixed many of the reliability and uptime issues but we are sure customers want to take time to take it for a test ride before committing further.

    The bigger news, that will likely drive the stock, is the drop in forward guidance to Euro2.1B which translates to an EPS of just over Euro1.0. Even if we assume a 15-20% standard "beat", it will still be short of Q3.

    The company expects to ship 6 EUV systems in Q4 which is what it has shipped year to date.

    At 77% of business, memory orders are in nosebleed territory even well above memory centric players like LRCX. As memory does not need EUV any time in the near future we can translate to most all of these orders being for ArF systems which at least keep the margins high.

    We didn't see or hear of much progress on EUV other than normal block and tackling. Pellicles are here to stay which obviously means that throughput takes a 10% hit.

    Lumpy, Bumpy business

    No EUV orders and huge ArF orders make for lumpy business characteristics. Obviously the industry is all about memory right now which also means no need for EUV (in the near term). The guide down to Euro2.1B in revenues seems unusually large given the long lead times in litho systems usually allow manufacturers better "scheduling" of revenue. We are somewhat surprised that ASML couldn't do a better job of managing this lumpiness. Shipping 6 EUV tools in Q4 is also a higher goal but I guess they will be less busy with ArF tool shipments.

    Huge "exposure" to near term memory business
    At 77% of orders, memory is driving the company. As memory does not need EUV right now, it is clear that most was for ArF which sports higher gross margins but does not move the EUV ball forward. Given that NAND is less litho intensive its clear why AMAT and LRCX are out performing on a relative basis.

    Most importantly, we are quite concerned about the very high level of memory business because if memory falls off a cliff these orders could be canceled or pushed out creating a hole in revenues before EUV kicks in.

    The bottom line is that ASML is very highly dependent upon memory remaining strong to bridge revenues until EUV ramps up which is really at 5NM and a few years out in 2020. This is a significant risk in our view especially given the volatile nature of the memory market and fickle nature of capex spend related to it. We think memory related orders are much less reliable than EUV orders or logic/foundry orders.

    EUV (in)digestion period?
    The lack of EUV orders versus 6 last quarter suggests that customers have enough tools in the hopper in the near term and are likely figuring out how well the new tool versions work.

    While we have heard positive comments out of TSMC relative to their commitment to EUV we are still a way off from real insertion at 5NM versus initial, few layers, at 7NM.

    Intel continues to lag behind Samsung who is in the lead in EUV followed by TSMC (recently on board )with Intel still taking a cautious route.

    Its not like everyone is clamoring to use EUV ASAP and the remaining issues still need work. After some critical positive breakthroughs over the past year which created some EUV momentum we may be slowing a bit in overall progress as some remaining issues may be more pesky/difficult.
    The focus on memory does take investor focus away from EUV issues which is likely a positive. But we would anxiously await a return for EUV orders in Q4. If not, we would get much more concerned as customers could be pushing out.

    ASML direct challenge to KLAC's dominance
    With little fanfare, ASML announced that it had shipped its first eXplore 6000 E beam, reticle "inspection" system to a foundry/logic customer (we assume TSMC). It does take 24 hours to review a mask so it probably does do "inspection". While its not clear if this is a full inspection tool or just a "review" tool it almost doesn't matter as it undoubtably will be tightly tied to ASML's EUV tool and be aimed at enabling customers to get EUV off the ground. ASML management did throw KLAC's "optical" under the bus during the conference call.

    ASML also announced that it shipped the first "pattern Fidelity Management" tool the ePfm5. The first joint tool developed since the HMI acquisition. While its clear that this is a "review" tool, it adds to the metrology/inspection arsenal that ASML is developing for EUV ramp.

    Right now , KLAC is somewhat "left out" of the game of doing "at wavelength" or below wavelength E beam EUV inspection/metrology and has cobbled together an "optical" alternative because they have nothing else to respond with after cancelling their program.

    We view this as a very clear risk to KLA's otherwise dominance in the inspection/metrology business. KLA is also getting squeezed on the other side with E beam offerings from AMAT. KLA needs abetter response.

    Nosebleed valuation?
    At 25-30 times forward EPS, we think ASML's stock is likely overdone especially when taking into consideration the near term risk of memory and little progress on EUV with no orders.

    This valuation is double the equivalent US tool company who are right now just trying to get to a 15 multiple.

    ASML has always, historically traded at a premium due to European investors who are stuck with relatively few successful tech companies to invest in and drive up the valuation. But if I were an investor who could buy US and European stocks I see no reason to own ASML with the added near term risk at double the valuation of its higher growth US counterparts.

    If we were Intel, we would think about unloading some more ASML stock at these levels as it recently did. INTC invested $4.1B in the $50 range and has now more than tripled their money. A more than $8B profit is more than enough to buy all the EUV scanners Intel needs until Moore's law runs out.

    Maybe I can buy some shares of Uber and use the profits to take rides for the rest of my life.....what a concept...

    Collateral Impact
    The memory spend confirms what we have heard from AMAT and recently LRCX, but the 77% raises eyebrows. The large wave of ArF systems for memory likely confirms the view that 2018 will be great for fabrication tools as litho tools are the leading indicator of fab outfitting.

    If fabs are ordering/taking litho tools now, then they will be buying lots of dep and etch in a quarter or two, obviously supporting a strong 2018 for dep and etch makers.

    We are a bit more concerned about KLAC as metrology/inspection tools have similar timing to litho tools as fabs need to order KLA tools before dep/etch tools to nail down their process first before filling out a fab. We might be a bit more concerned about a similar digestion period as customers figure out KLA's new tool generation and new 7NM process flow before ordering more tools.

    Overall ASML's report is both positive and cautionary at the same time as it confirms the memory strength but also confirms the risk as the EUV ramp remains slow and memory remains fickle.

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    Smile

    And this just in:

    Keeping Leadership in 7-nano Era: Samsung Electronics Seeks to Buy Up Next-gen Semiconductor Mfg Equipment | BusinessKorea

    Samsung is now in talks to buy 10 EUV lithography tools and it is almost the equivalent to the total number of EUV lithography tools that ASML can be produced a year. ASML believes that it can produce about 12 EUV lithography tools this year. It is the only company that manufactures EUV lithography tools in the world.Since Samsung Electronics has been exclusively buying next-generation semiconductor production equipment before its competitors, the company is seeking to overwhelm its competitors again with the same strategy, according to market watchers. In this regard, Samsung Electronics and ASML said, We cannot officially confirm the fact.


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    The CEO of ASML (Peter Wennink) will be speaking at the TSMC 30th Anniversary celebration today in Taipei along with Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang, Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf, ADI CEO Vincent Roche, ARM CEO Simon Segars, Broadcom CEO Hock Tan, and Apple COO Jeff Williams. They will also do a panel moderated by Morris Chang. Should be interesting. I will let you know how it goes.

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    So by 2019, in terms of EUV usage by layers, is this the best guess? SEC LSI - 10, TSMC - 4-5, SEC DRAM - 2, everyone else - 0.

    The silence from Intel is deafening!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghostofmoore View Post
    So by 2019, in terms of EUV usage by layers, is this the best guess? SEC LSI - 10, TSMC - 4-5, SEC DRAM - 2, everyone else - 0.

    The silence from Intel is deafening!!
    Remember this one?

    Intel exec says fabless model collapsing
    Intel exec says fabless model "collapsing" | EE Times

    SAN FRANCISCO Its the beginning of the end for the fabless model according to Mark Bohr, the man I think of as Mr. Process Technology at Intel. Bohr claims TSMCs recent announcement it will serve just one flavor of 20 nm process technology is an admission of failure. The Taiwan fab giant apparently cannot make at its next major node the kind of 3-D transistors needed mitigate leakage current, Bohr said.

    Hahaha........... Could the IDM model finally be collapsing?

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    I actually think Bohr will prove to be right on the future of the fabless model - you could argue thay Apple et al already are 'virtual IDMs', but Intel has the advantage of being a true IDM - manufacturing only has one major customer. They can still compete on shrink without playing around with EUV in my view. The question is can they compete on cost (much more doubtful).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghostofmoore View Post
    So by 2019, in terms of EUV usage by layers, is this the best guess? SEC LSI - 10, TSMC - 4-5, SEC DRAM - 2, everyone else - 0.

    The silence from Intel is deafening!!
    From reading their VLSI Technology paper on 2nd gen 10nm this year, I got the feeling Samsung LSI had not developed SADP yet, at least for metallization, which is why they had been counting more heavily on EUV. It seemed quite strange to me since Samsung planar NAND had been using SADP (the appropriate way for metallization) for quite a while. The other FinFET foundries already use SADP or even SAQP.

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    ASML and Intel busy with EUV tool installation

    From a local Oregon story on a EUV tool installation at INTEL:

    ..............................
    ASML said the company and its customers spend a year and a half planning for installation, preparing plumbing and electricity and building a giant crane inside a factory's clean room to lift components that weigh as much as 20,000 pounds. "You're making something so big to make something that's smaller than a virus," Paxton said.


    In two phases, beginning in 2010, Intel spent billions of dollars building a massive Hillsboro factory called D1X specifically to accommodate the larger dimensions EUV requires . It's the company's most advanced facility anywhere and where the chipmaker will pioneer successive generations of chip technology.
    Intel won't specify just how or when it plans to employ EUV. After years of publicly lamenting slow development of the technology, though, Intel now hails "great progress."
    "We are committed to bringing EUV into production as soon as the technology is ready at an effective cost," the company said in a written statement. "Intel continues to invest in readiness for EUV and is in a position to take full advantage of the technology as it matures."
    .................................................. ............
    Lasers, molten tin and ultraviolet light chart a path for chipmakers | OregonLive.com


    And ASMl is extremely busy recruiting the many people it needs for the EUV HVM roll-out; it is now hiring permanently hundreds more tech-people that were previously working for them in flexible contracts. From the Dutch Wall Street Journal of today: Cookiewall | Het Financieele Dagblad

    And ASML is competing with the global tech companies around the world for talent. From the regional newspaper at ASML's home base in the Netherlands from a few weeks ago:
    Cookies op ed.nl | ed.nl

    It seems EUV is keeping some folks at ASML and its customers quite busy......

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghostofmoore View Post
    I actually think Bohr will prove to be right on the future of the fabless model - you could argue thay Apple et al already are 'virtual IDMs', but Intel has the advantage of being a true IDM - manufacturing only has one major customer. They can still compete on shrink without playing around with EUV in my view. The question is can they compete on cost (much more doubtful).
    Not sure how "Bohr will prove to be right on the future"? Especially five years after his predication, I only see things popping out that constricted to his prediction.

    Unless we start calling all those fabless companies, such as Apple, Qualcomm, Nvidia, Mediatek, AMD, Broadcomm, Xilinx, LG, and Huawei, as "Virtual IDMs"? Many of them are doing very well in recent years. So IDM wins!?

    I agree with you that looking forward the cost is a huge challenge for Intel. It's not only because expensive R&D cost but also the skyrocketing manufacturing cost.

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