Canon of Japan said on Tuesday that early demand for its new lithography chipmaking machines has exceeded expectations as it makes a significant effort to bridge the gap with Dutch rival ASML.

ASML has become Europe’s most valuable technology business because of its extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography tools, which use light beams to construct circuitry and are used by TSMC and Intel to manufacture cutting-edge chips.

In October, Canon announced its new nanoimprint lithography equipment, which stamps circuit layouts directly onto wafers. The manufacturer highlights the instruments’ cheap cost and low power usage, and their prospects are a source of industry dispute.

While it is too soon to predict when the machines will add to Canon sales, “there has been a bigger response than we expected,” Minoru Asada, head of Canon’s finance and accounting headquarters, told reporters.

According to Asada, the business intends to first use the equipment for memory chip fabrication before extending into other fields.

Canon aims to sell 247 of its current lithography equipment in the fiscal year ending December 31, up from 187 a year ago, driven by demand for power chips and graphics processing units (GPU) for artificial intelligence workloads.

The semiconductor industry focuses on the development, design, and production of semiconductor devices, which are critical components of electronic gadgets. It has long been a pillar of technological advancement, providing power to the contemporary world via its widespread usage in electronics and other technology. 

The potential for expansion The semiconductor business has the potential to attain a trillion-dollar valuation and is expanding gradually due to several critical variables. The semiconductor market has surged, with revenues predicted to rise by more than 20% to over US$600 billion by 2021, as the influence of digital technology on people’s lives and enterprises has intensified. 

A McKinsey estimate based on several macroeconomic assumptions indicates that the industry’s total annual growth rate would range from 6 to 8 percent every year until 2030.

Some of the strategies to take the semiconductor industry to the next level may include bringing manufacturing closer to home with both entirely new fabs and the expansion of existing facilities; managing the diversification risks and challenges that come with localization; digital transformation to digitize many parts of the process; dealing with and balancing the semiconductor talent equation; and establishing and accelerating a path toward achieving environmental, social