August 6, 2012 — Semiconductor foundry TSMC (NYSE:TSM) took a 5% stake in semiconductor manufacturing equipment supplier ASML, worth EUR 838 million (about USD 1.04 billion), as part of the ASML Holding N.V. Customer Co-Investment Program. TSMC will also commit EUR 276 million (about USD 341 million), spread over 5 years, to ASML’s research and development programs.
The program, which kicked off in July with Intel taking 15% of ASML, funnels funds to developing next-generation semiconductor fab technologies extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography and 450mm lithography tools. As part of this program, ASML may issue up to an aggregate 25% minority equity stake to customers. With Intel and TSMC on board, only 5% of ASML minority stake is left available to other customers in this program. The entire cash proceeds from the share issuance will be returned to ASML shareholders (not including participating customers). Alongside these equity investments, participating customers would fund a significant portion of ASML’s R&D activities for the next five years.
The investment helps “secure and accelerate EUV development activities,” said Shang-yi Chiang, TSMC EVP and co-COO, adding that this is an additional focus area along with improving existing optical lithography tools and advancing on the roadmap to 450mm wafers.
The companies note that they collaborated before in developing 193nm immersion lithography.
Intel and TSMC are ranked #1 and #3 respectively in IC Insights’ H2 2012 top-20 semiconductor companies. The two chipmakers are also spending more on capital equipment in 2012 than they did in 2011, along with only Samsung and 3 others.
TSMC provides advanced semiconductor foundry services provider to fabless companies and IDMs. Learn more at www.tsmc.com.