In response to a measure taken by the United States to safeguard its national security, the Dutch government has announced that, before the summer, it will place restrictions on the export of the “most advanced” chips produced in the country.
It will include technology developed by ASML, which is a manufacturer of computer chip machinery.
The ASML company is one of the most significant players in the international supply network for microchips.
The US and China are engaged in a heated disagreement over semiconductors, which are the power source for a wide variety of devices, including mobile phones and military hardware.
Liesje Schreinemacher, the minister of trade for the country, stated that the measures will have an effect on “very particular technologies in the semiconductor production cycle.“
“The Netherlands considers it necessary on national and international security grounds that this technology be brought under control as soon as possible,” she said in a letter to lawmakers on Wednesday. “The Netherlands considers it necessary to bring this technology under control as soon as possible.”
Ms. Schreinemacher added that the Dutch government had taken into account “the technological advancements and geopolitical context,” although she did not specifically name China or ASML.
Companies would be required to submit applications for licenses in order to export certain technologies, such as “the most sophisticated Deep Ultra Violet (DUV) immersion lithography and deposition,” under the new regulations.
According to Dexter Roberts, a senior associate at the United States think tank Atlantic Council, the technology is “crucial for the manufacturing of advanced semiconductor chips.” This quote was given to the BBC.
“This is a genuine advancement, a genuine triumph for the United States, and also very unfavorable news for China. The relationship between the US and China is already in a fairly precarious state. This will undoubtedly make matters even more difficult “he continued.
In a statement, ASML stated that it is preparing for the possibility that the restrictions will apply to its “most sophisticated immersion DUV systems.”
According to the additional statement made by the business, “based on today’s announcement, our anticipation of the Dutch government’s licensing policy, and the current market situation, we do not expect these measures to have a significant impact on our financial outlook.”
As part of the process of fabricating microchips, lithography machines employ lasers to print minuscule patterns on silicon. These patterns are part of the semiconductor.
Since 2019, the Netherlands government has prevented ASML from selling China its most cutting-edge lithography equipment.
The United States government made the announcement in October that it would require licenses for businesses that export chips to China using US tools or software, regardless of where in the world the chips are manufactured.
The United States of America has been exerting pressure on the Netherlands and Japan to introduce restrictions that are analogous to their own.
Earlier this week, the trade minister of South Korea voiced some concerns regarding the policy of the United States regarding semiconductors.
According to the ministry’s announcement, “The South Korean government will make it clear that the Chips Act could make business more uncertain, violate companies’ management and technology rights, and make it less appealing for South Korean investors to think about investing in the U.S.”
The world’s largest memory chip manufacturer, Samsung, is headquartered in South Korea, which is also home to other important microprocessor manufacturers.