Canon's nanoimprint lithography set to revolutionize semiconductor industry

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Canon's nanoimprint lithography set to revolutionize semiconductor industry
Credit: © Reuters.

Canon Inc., in collaboration with Dai Nippon Printing Co. and Kioxia Holdings Corp., is poised to redefine the semiconductor landscape with its innovative nanoimprint lithography technology. The technology, competitively priced below ASML Holding NV (AS: ASML )'s extreme ultraviolet lithography tools, is expected to make advanced chip production more accessible, particularly for smaller manufacturers.

The cutting-edge machine, which imprints circuit patterns directly onto wafers, can create chips at geometries equivalent to the most advanced nodes. This could potentially reduce chipmakers' reliance on foundries and enable contract chipmakers such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and Samsung Electronics (KS: 005930 ) Co. to produce smaller lots of chips with less power consumption than EUV tools.

Canon's CEO, Fujio Mitarai, expressed confidence in the new technology's ability to significantly undercut ASML's EUVs. However, while the technology does not fall under Tokyo's existing chipmaking export restrictions, it may encounter export challenges to China due to bans on technologies beyond 14-nanometer.

This ambitious venture into nanoimprint technology by Canon began in 2014 when the company acquired Molecular Imprints Inc. Progressing further on this path, Canon is now building its first new lithography equipment plant in two decades in Utsunomiya, which is slated to commence operations in 2025.

In addition to these developments, Canon has also announced a series of leadership changes. New directors include Canon USA CEO Kazuto Ogawa, Industrial Group Head Hiroaki Takeishi, and Senior Managing Executive Officer Minoru Asada. Furthermore, CEO Fujio Mitarai hinted at an ongoing search for his successor.

InvestingPro Insights

Canon Inc., with a market cap of $23836.59M, is making waves in the Technology Hardware, Storage & Peripherals industry. The company has consistently increased its earnings per share and has raised its dividend for 3 consecutive years, which are key indicators of financial health (InvestingPro Tips 0 and 1).

The company's P/E ratio stands at 13.63, suggesting it is trading at a low P/E ratio relative to near-term earnings growth (InvestingPro Tip 2). Over the last twelve months as of Q3 2023, Canon generated revenue of $27933.63M, with a growth rate of 9.0%. However, it's worth noting that the revenue growth has been slowing down recently (InvestingPro Tip 3).

Canon's stock generally trades with low price volatility, which might appeal to risk-averse investors (InvestingPro Tip 4). The company's cash flows can sufficiently cover interest payments, and it has maintained dividend payments for 32 consecutive years, showcasing its commitment to returning capital to shareholders (InvestingPro Tips 6 and 7).

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