June 7, 2007 – Nikon Corp. wants to hike its output of immersion steppers to between 40-60 machines during the next fiscal year, at a potential expense of 4 billion yen (US ~$33 million), but will wait until this fall to finalize its plans to see how its current tool stacks up vs. ASML’s forthcoming 40nm-linewidth-capable shipments, according to the Nikkei Business Daily.
Nikon will be able to make 30 of the immersion tools in fiscal 2H07. ASML is slated to start shipping its newer tool this fall, and if Nikon still feels its tools are technically superior, it will double that capacity to 60 units to try and take market share, the paper noted.
Nikon sold four immersion steppers in FY06 (ended in March), and expects to record sales of 13 tools in the current fiscal year, with expectations of 40 stepper orders/year from existing customers. The Nikkei paper noted that the global market for immersion steppers is about 60 in the next fiscal year.