Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Intel and ASML Aim to Accelerate Transition from 300 to 450mm Wafers

Intel has entered into a strategic pact with ASML targeting next generation silicon manufacturing technologies. Among the agreements, Intel commits EUR829 million (approximately $1.0 billion) to ASML's research and development programs to help accelerate deployment of new technologies for 450-millimeter (mm) wafers and extreme ultra-violet (EUV) lithography by as much as two years.

Intel also agreed to purchase 10 percent of pre-transaction issued shares of ASML for EUR1.7 billion (approximately $2.1 billion) and commit to purchase an additional 5 percent of post-transaction issued shares as part of ASML's program to enable minority investments of up to a 25 percent equity stake to its largest customers R&D funding and equity investment agreements totaling EUR3.3 billion (approximately $4.1 billion).

"Productivity improvements driven by enhanced wafer manufacturing technologies, especially larger silicon wafers and enhanced lithography technologies with EUV are direct enablers of Moore's Law, which delivers significant economic benefits to consumers," said Brian Krzanich, Intel senior vice president and chief operating officer. "The transition from one wafer size to the next has historically delivered a 30 to 40 percent reduction in die cost and we expect the shift from today's standard 300-mm wafers to larger 450-mm wafers to offer similar benefits. The faster we do this, the sooner we can gain the benefit of productivity improvements, which creates tremendous value for customers and shareholders."

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