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Dropping prices signal spending restart, says ASML

Posted: 23 Jan 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Peter Clarke? lithography? ASML Holding?

It may seem that counter-intuitive but lithography equipment vendor ASML Holding NV believes that a fall in the average selling price of its equipment in the fourth quarter of 2005 signals a beneficial change in the market.

In its financial results for Q4 and the full 2005 year, ASML said the Q4 2005 average selling price (ASP) of its new lithography systems, as opposed to reconditioned machines, was about $15.2 million This was considerably lower than the Q3 2005 ASP for new lithography systems of about $18.2 million.

ASML said this was due to a changing product mix that favored lower-cost 248nm wavelength (KrF) technology in Q4 2005, rather than the latest leading-edge machines. ASML went further and said the changing product mix was a sign of a resumption of capacity additions by customers coming on top of leading-edge technical purchases.

The Q4 2005 ASP for all ASML systems sold was around $11.8 million, compared with the Q3 2005 ASP of about $14.3 million.

The Q4 2005 net bookings exceeded expectations with 55 systems valued at around $790 million, including 43 new systems with an average selling price of approximately $17.6 million.

ASML's assessment was that the bookings uptick reflected sustained demand from memory and integrated device manufacturers as well as increased capacity demand from foundries and continued demand for immersion systems.

- Peter Clarke
EE Times

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