Focus — The ASML Way

Inside the power struggle over the most complex machine on earth

For decades the most valuable company in Europe operated in the shadows. The chips manufactured by its machines, power our smartphones and AI assistants, make our coffee and drive our cars and even guide cruise missiles. In fact, roughly 90% of all chips worldwide are made by ASML. In recent years however, the Dutch manufacturing company has found itself in the spotlight, at the centre of a geopolitical storm between the United States, China and Europe.

Original title
Focus. De wereld van ASML. Het machtsspel om de meest complexe machine op aarde
Marc Hijink

In Focus – The ASML Way, journalist Marc Hijink brings us a unique insider portrait of this global giant. Hijink not only details the company’s meteoric rise from a quiet town in the Netherlands to a powerful, global monopoly position, he also makes accessible the unbelievably complex technology that has been the key to ASML’s success. Its lithography machines, which spit out millions of chips around the clock, work to an accuracy of within a few atoms.

China is trying to steal the ASML technology while investing billions in its own chip-manufacturing programme to rival that of Taiwan. The US, in turn, seem to have the Dutch government on their side as they try and resuscitate their own chip manufacturing industry amid trade and cyber-warfare with China. Behind all the mind-blowing tech, Hijink discovers, ASML is a company fighting its own demons, scrambling to keep up with its success and an increasing number of security threats. This is the intimate story of the people and culture behind a business now caught in a geopolitical struggle for global might.

  • A story of industrial innovation and the global struggle for economic and military supremacy

  • How a Dutch company conquered the chip world

  • Hijink was allowed behind the scenes for three years with ASML’s leadership

  • A technical and complex subject made thrilling in forty brief chapters

  • An inspiring story for entrepreneurs around the world

Year of publication

Page count


Henk van Renssen
Sample translation available

Hijink flies through the remarkable history of chip machine-manufacturer ASML in three hundred pages. With humour and a pacy style, he makes complex subject matter digestible.

de Volkskrant

ASML is the most important company you may have never heard of. Marc Hijink provides the inside story of its rise to global dominance as the monopoly producer of the machines that make the chips that make artificial intelligence possible.

Chris Miller, author of 'Chip War'
Marc Hijink
Marc Hijink (b. 1969) has over fifteen years of experience writing for the Dutch daily NRC, where he is a financial reporter and columnist. He writes about the semiconductor industry, technology trade wars and geopolitics, as well as cybercrime, consumer electronics, telecommunications, social media, AI and algorithms. He is focused on translating complex concepts into compelling stories for a broad audience.
Part ofNon-Fiction
Share page