Samsung Joins The Litho Party
Samsung has followed Intel and TSMC in buying a stake in ASML and agreeing to contribute towards its R&D costs for 450mm and EUV.
Samsung will buy a 3% stake in ASML for Euros 503m and will put up Euros 276m for ASML’s R&D programmes.
Intel paid $3bn for a 15% stake in ASML and said it would put another $1bn into the R&D projects.
ASML has said it is only offering a limit of a 25% stake to its three top customers.
TSMC is paying Euros 838m for a 5% stake in ASML and another Euros 276m for the R&D projects.
ASML says it expects 450mm tools to be available in 2018, but TSMC has said it expects to be using 450mm tools in 2014.
One programme, the EUV programme, needs to increase its 4000 engineers by 30%, says ASML.
ASML says it has now completed the R&D funding programme and doesn’t plan to ask other customers to participate.
The investments by Samsung TSMC and Intel mean that ASML is now the monopoly supplier of leading edge lithography tools.
Japanese rivals Canon and Nikon are already behind ASML and the $1.38bn being put into ASML means ASML will increase its lead over the other companies.
The programme also gives Intel, TSMC and Samsung a pretty much unassailable lead in process technology because they’ll be guaranteed first deliveries of the latest and most advanced chip manufacturing equipment.
ASML says that the Euros 3.85bn billion raised from selling an aggregated 23% non-voting stake to its major customers will be returned to existing shareholders through a synthetic buy-back.