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German Factory Fire Could Worsen Global Chip Shortage

Workers install photolithography equipment in an ASML factory.

ASML is the sole provider of the extreme ultraviolet lithography machines used by TSMC, Samsung, and other chip makers.

Credit: Jasper Juinen | Bloomberg | Getty Images

ASML Holding NV has shut part of its factory in Berlin after a fire earlier this week, sparking concerns around the already serious global shortage of semiconductors.

No-one was injured in the incident, but ASML said it is too early to tell how significant the damage was and whether it will have any impact on operations.

The company is now investigating the cause and consequences of the fire, intending to provide an update as soon as possible.

According to Bloomberg, the fire affected about 200 square meters out of a total 32,000 square meter site. The impacted area remains closed, while other areas of the site are still operating.

ASML is the sole provider of a vital technology used to manufacture computer chips. The Dutch firm is the world's largest supplier of photolithography systems and the only provider of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography machines, used to etch circuits onto silicon wafers. ASML's EUV customers include TSMC, Samsung Electronics, SK Hynix and other chip makers, who in turn supply companies including Apple, IBM and Samsung.

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