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Chip industry's expansion plans at risk as equipment delays grow

TSMC, Samsung and others chase vital equipment as delivery times reach 18 months

Engineers working at a United Microelectronics Corp. facility in southern Taiwan in 2006. (File photo by AFP/Jiji)

TAIPEI -- Chipmakers trying to expand production capacity are having to wait a year and a half or longer for key equipment, as unprecedented parts shortages and supply constraints batter the chip tools industry.

Leading chip tool makers -- including Applied Materials, KLA, Lam Research and ASML -- are warning clients they will have to wait up to 18 months for some crucial machines, multiple sources told Nikkei Asia, citing shortages in everything from lenses, valves and pumps to microcontrollers, engineering plastics and electronic modules.

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