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ASML signs up Samsung to fund extreme ultraviolet lithography research

Joins Intel and TSMC
Tue Aug 28 2012, 11:52
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CHIPMAKER Samsung has joined Intel and TSMC in signing up for a stake in ASML and its research on extreme ultraviolet lithography.

ASML has already signed up Intel and TSMC to fund its research into extreme ultraviolet lithography, a technique it claims will help chipmakers continue Moore's Law. Now the firm has announced that Samsung will be handing over €276m in research funding and €503m for a three percent stake in the firm.

ASML announced its investment plan to solicit outside partners to help fund its research into next generation chip production techniques, in particular extreme ultraviolet lithography. The firm is also working on developing techniques to fab 450mm wafers, which should lower the cost of chip production.

With Samsung signing on the dotted line, ASML has said it will not seek other firms to fund its research and take a stake in the firm. The company confirmed that Intel, TSMC and Samsung will have a combined 23 percent stake in ASML, and the money paid by those firms will be given back to ASML's shareholders through a stock buyback.

Samsung will be hoping that by backing ASML it can have early access to new lithography techniques that will help produce faster and cheaper processors. ASML has previously said it expects extreme ultraviolet lithography to be ready for production use by the end of the decade.

ASML has managed to gain the signature of two of the biggest semiconductor firms and the largest fab-for-hire, which should mean that Intel and Samsung will get a head start over rival chipmakers while TSMC gets a leg up over rival chip shops. µ


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