At this point, the global chip crunch is basically its own meme. It seems like wave after wave, whether it’s limited capacity, employee furloughs, logistical issues, or GPU theft, we seem to have some way to go before we can walk into a main street store and buy a console or a console’s MSRP GPU.
But chip supply is not just a matter of wafer capacity. A semiconductor manufacturing plant requires countless components, tools and machinery, forming a very complex supply chain.Dutch lithography specialist ASML (Advanced Semiconductor Materials Lithography) is a key part of the chain, news from ZDnet A fire broke out at one of ASML’s factories in Berlin.
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The fire damaged part of one production area and the smoke affected another. Fortunately, no injuries were reported, and ASML said parts of the facility have returned to normal operations.However, that EUV production systems remain offline, which is the worrying part. EUV lithography is used to produce state-of-the-art chips, including the advanced 5nm node.
ASML provides equipment and tools to companies such as Samsung and TSMC. With both companies currently engaged in massive expansion, the last thing they need is disruption. These kinds of things have effects that ultimately affect gamers. Store shelves are empty, so we can all do without these distractions. End users won’t see any immediate impact, but if EUV production remains offline for an extended period of time, it could have an impact in the coming months.
ASML will likely provide an update on its earnings call on January 19. Undoubtedly, there have been repeated calls among all the companies involved to assess the potential impact of a prolonged shutdown of EUV manufacturing. Cheaper GPUs may not appear as soon as we hope.