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TSMC follows Intel and invests in ASML

TSMC has followed Intel's lead by investing €276million ($340m) in ASML's R&D for next generation lithography technologies, as well as €838m ($1billion) in a 5% stake in the company.

"One of the biggest challenges facing ic scaling is how to effectively control the escalating wafer manufacturing cost," said Shang-yi Chiang, pictured, TSMC's co chief operating officer. "We are confident that the additional funding for ASML's R&D programs will help secure and accelerate extreme ultraviolet (EUV) development activities, in parallel with the necessary focus on improved performance of existing optical lithography tools and speed up the deployment of new technologies for 450mm wafers. This effort will help the industry control wafer cost, and therefore protect the economic viability of Moore's Law."
Earlier, Intel invested $4.1bn in ASML, including €553m ($680m) in the R&D program and the remainder to acquire a 15% stake. As part of its Customer Co-Investment Program, ASML can sell up to 25% of its equity. Following the moves by Intel and TSMC, 5% of the equity remains available and ASML says this share is being discussed with other customers. Industry speculation suggests the discussions might be with Samsung.

Author
Graham Pitcher

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