According to a recent Reuters report citing two sources familiar with the matter, TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company) has apparently requested its primary chipmaking tool suppliers, including ASML, to postpone the delivery of advanced wafer fab equipment. This decision is attributed to uncertainties in customer demand and challenges faced by TSMC's Fab 21 in Arizona.
While the report does not explicitly mention the specific tools being delayed, it is speculated that TSMC may have requested a postponement in the delivery of lithography scanners from ASML. Lithography scanners are among the most expensive tools utilized in chip manufacturing facilities.
TSMC is presently constructing multiple fabs, including two cutting-edge facilities in Taiwan and one in the United States. Additionally, the company regularly adds tools to its existing fabs to enhance production capacity. The delays in tool delivery are assumed to be related to the setbacks encountered by Fab 21 in Arizona and uncertainties surrounding customer demand, necessitating a slower delivery of new tools to the Arizona facility and some scanners to the existing fabs.
ASML, the leading manufacturer of lithography scanners worldwide, has been directly impacted by TSMC's request. Although ASML's CEO, Peter Wennink, acknowledged a few order delays in a recent Reuters interview, he remains optimistic and considers this situation to be a temporary management challenge. Remarkably, ASML still anticipates a robust 30% sales growth for the year.
TSMC has refrained from commenting directly on the matter but has referred to previous statements made by its CEO, C.C. Wei. Wei has previously highlighted a weakening economic environment and a trend of customers adopting a more conservative approach, factors that may have influenced the company's current stance.