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ASML, TSMC Can Disable Chip Machines, If Taiwan is invaded

ASML Holding NV and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. have ways to disable the world’s most sophisticated chipmaking machines if China invades Taiwan, Bloomberg reports

Tweet on Asml and TSCM Chipmaking machines

Bloomberg on the chip industry

Officials from the US government have privately expressed concerns to both their Dutch and Taiwanese counterparts about what happens if Chinese aggression escalates into an attack on the island responsible for producing the vast majority of the world’s advanced semiconductors, two of the people said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

  • Firms can remotely shut off advanced EUV chip-making machines
  • US officials concerned over the risk of conflict to the chip industry

ASML reassured officials about its ability to remotely disable the machines when the Dutch government met with the company on the threat, two others said. The Netherlands has run simulations on a possible invasion to better assess the risks, they added.

Spokespeople for ASML, TSMC and the Dutch trade ministry declined to comment. Spokespeople for the White House National Security Council, US Department of Defense, and US Department of Commerce didn’t respond to emailed requests for comment.

The remote shut-off applies to Netherlands-based ASML’s line of extreme ultraviolet machines, known within the industry as EUVs, for which TSMC is its single biggest client. EUVs harness high-frequency light waves to print the smallest microchip transistors in existence — creating chips that have artificial intelligence uses as well as more sensitive military applications.


Image: Asml