The Download: inside chipmaking giant ASML, and why Taiwan loves Threads

On a drab Monday February morning in California, at the drab San Jose Convention Center, attendees of the SPIE Advanced Lithography and Patterning Conference gathered to hear tech industry luminaries extol the late Gordon Moore, Intel’s cofounder and first CEO, who passed in March last year. 

Moore is best known for pioneering Moore’s Law, the observation that the number of transistors on an integrated circuit doubles every two years or so. But if Moore deserves credit for creating the law that drove the progress of the industry, it is Dutch company ASML, which makes the machines that in turn let manufacturers produce the most advanced computer chips in the world, that deserves much of the credit for ensuring that progress remains possible. 

Yet that also means the pressure is on. ASML has to continue making sure chipmakers can keep pace with the law. Will that be possible? Read the full story.

—Mat Honan & James O’Donnell

Why Threads is suddenly popular in Taiwan

For most people around the world, Meta’s text-based social network Threads is a platform they likely haven’t thought about for months. But for Liu, a design professional in Taipei, it’s where she’s receiving unprecedented attention. 

She’s not the only person feeling this surge of popularity. Threads has dominated app-store download charts in Taiwan for months. Prominent officials have set up accounts, and it’s become the most popular platform among young people. But Threads’ unexpected success on the island is complex, and precarious. Read the full story.

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