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Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company has joined ASML Holding customer co-investment program  aimed at accelerating the development and industrialization of key next-generation semiconductor manufacturing technologies, which include extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography technology and 450mm lithography tools.

“One of the biggest challenges facing IC scaling today is how to effectively control the escalating wafer manufacturing cost. We are confident that the additional funding for ASML’s research and development programs will help secure and accelerate 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-millimeter wafers. This effort will help the industry control wafer cost, and therefore protect the economic viability of Moore’s Law,” said Shang-yi Chiang, TSMC’s executive vice president and co-chief operating officer.

The agreement includes an investment amount of €838 million $1039.36 million) in ASML to acquire a 5% of its equity; and to commit €276 million ($342.3 million), spread over 5 years, to ASML’s research and development programs. This agreement to develop key next generation lithography technologies is a natural extension of the long-term partnership between ASML and TSMC. ASML and TSMC collaborated successfully in the development of the 193nm immersion lithography, and hope to help lead the industry again in the development of next generation lithography.

Earlier this summer Intel Corp. made a strategic investment into ASML. The latter expects Samsung Electronics to acquire another 5% stake to get investments needed for the 450mm and EUV programs.

“We welcome TSMC to our Customer Co-Investment Program announced on July 9, 2012. The objective of the Co-Investment program is to secure and accelerate key lithography technologies. These technologies will benefit the entire industry and are not restricted to our Co-Investment partners,” said Eric Meurice, chief executive officer of ASML.

Tags: TSMC, Semiconductor, ASML, 450mm, Intel, Samsung

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