Samsung to take 3% stake in ASML

August 28, 2012 //By Dylan McGrath
Samsung to take 3% stake in ASML
South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., will invest $345.5 million to boost ASML Holding NV's extreme ultraviolet (EUV) and 450-mm lithography tool development and has committed to buying a 3 percent stake in the Dutch lithography vendor for 503 million euro (about $629.5 million), according to ASML.

Samsung (Seoul, South Korea) joins Intel Corp. and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd., (TSMC) in investing in ASML to support the development of next generation EUV and 450-mm lithography tools. TSMC said earlier this month it would pay about $1.04 billion for a 5 percent stake in ASML and Intel announced in July it would buy about 15 percent of ASML for about $3.1 billion. Both Intel and TSMC also agreed to pay to fund ASML's EUV and 450-mm tool development.

ASML (Veldhoven, the Netherlands) announced earlier this year that it was willing to sell up to 25 percent of the company to chip vendors that wish to participate in its EUV and 450-mm development programs.

Samsung, Intel and TSMC are supporting the development of EUV lithography to replace 193-nm optical lithography for future chip scaling. All three are also eager to move to 450-mm wafers from current 300-mm wafers to improve their profit on each wafer processed.

Samsung's investment completes ASML's five-year program for EUV and 450-mm R&D, ASML said, bringing the total investment from the chip firms to 1.38 billion euro (about $1.72 billion). ASML said it wouldn't solicit participation from any other customers.

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