Taiwan officials confirm new ASML R&D site

January 4, 2007 – Taiwan government officials say ASML has chosen to establish a new $150 million facility in Taiwan as its R&D headquarters for the region, according to the Taiwan Economic News.

The report states that the Taiwanese government is providing perks including a five-year income tax break and untaxed royalties, as well as soliciting more suppliers to cluster around the new site in Taoyuan in northern Taiwan.

The decision is seen as a move to get closer to local chipmakers in Taiwan, including top customer TSMC. Taiwan is bustling with 300mm fab activity, plus most of the chip facilities in China are financially backed by Taiwanese groups, the paper noted.

Officials in Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) and Industrial Development Bureau (IDB) aim to achieve a local content rate of 60% for semiconductor equipment, and have been actively soliciting foreign companies to set up operations here — including display panel stepper suppliers and ASML rivals Canon Inc. and Nikon Corp.

In September the paper indicated that ASML was seeking to establish a new Asia-Pacific R&D center in either Taiwan or South Korea. The MOEA had proposed nearly a dozen possible sites for the new R&D center, which would require at least 36,000 sq. ft of space, including the Taoyuan site, the paper noted.

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