Lithography systems maker to advance chip making by two years
After striking a similar, albeit a bit more lucrative, deal with Intel, maker of lithography systems ASML has landed another investment, this time from TSMC.
Last modified on Monday, 06 August 2012 11:33
Under the deal TSMC will pay €276 million over the next five years. The company will also by a 5-percent stake in the company, driving the total investment up to $1.4 billion.
Headquartered in Veldhoven, Holland, ASML supplies lithography systems for the semiconductor industry. It is currently working on next generation Extreme Ultra Violet lithography technology and 450-millimeter tools.
450 millimeter wafers mean more chips per wafer and in turn more profit, while EUV lithography is widely regarded as key to further shrinking of chips. Intel has already agreed to spend up to $3.1 billion for up to 15 percent stake in ASML and fork out an extra billion for research and development, all of which is part of the plan to speed up the adoption of next gen processes by two years.
TSMC's co-chief operating officer Shang-yi Chiang said that controlling “the escalating wafer manufacturing cost” is among the biggest challenges today. Intel's chief operating officer Brian Krzanich reminded earlier that the shift in wafer size traditionally brought 30 to 40 percent reduction in die cost, and that the company expects about the same this time around.
Note that this may not be the last we hear of the company, as ASML’s call for funding involved three - TSMC, Intel and Samsung. So, two down, one to go.