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ASML cranks up output of 'extreme' chipmaking machines

Dutch group says it has overcome productivity issues with cutting-edge technology

ASML stands as the world's lone volume supplier of extreme ultraviolet lithography machines, shown here being assembled in a clean room.   © (Courtesy of ASML)

FRANKFURT, Germany -- ASML, the world's leading supplier of equipment for etching circuits onto silicon chips, is starting to mass-produce eagerly awaited next-generation machinery that will enable giants like Intel and Samsung Electronics to churn out more powerful semiconductors.

The Netherlands-based group makes semiconductor lithography systems, also known as steppers and scanners, and its technological lead gives it a de facto monopoly at the outset in cutting-edge extreme-ultraviolet lithography equipment.

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