Intel Puts $1bn Into 450mm R&D; $3bn Into ASML Shares.
It always seemed obvious that Intel should lead the 450mm transition because Intel is in such a dominant position in the semi industry with revenues of over $50 billion in a $300 billion industry.
But Intel is going about leading the transition in a rather odd way.
When IBM, Motorola and Infineon led previous wafer size transitions they didn’t find it necessary to buy stakes in the tool -makers. But Intel is taking 15% of ASML
What seems disproportionate is that Intel is spending three times as much on ASML shares as it’s putting into ASML’s R&D: $3 billion on shares; $1 billion on R&D.
Intel is the most vocal proponent of the transition which is variously estimated to cost between $20 billion and $40 billion.
This $1 billion for R&D looks insignificant, while the $3 billion going into buying ASML shares looks irrelevant, unless Intel is looking to buy control of the tools industry.
If it did that, it could keep 450mm technology all to itself.