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© mucella1 dreamstime.com Electronics Production | November 03, 2016

ASML buys stake in Carl Zeiss SMT

Netherlands-based equipment provider ASML, and Germany’s Carl Zeiss SMT, a Carl Zeiss AG company, are strengthening their partnership in the semiconductor lithography business.
The main objective of this agreement is to facilitate the development of the future generation of Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) lithography systems due in the first few years of the next decade. This technology aims to enable the semiconductor industry to produce much higher performance microchips at lower costs.

With this said ZEISS and ASML have agreed on a 24.9% minority stake of ASML in ZEISS’s subsidiary Carl Zeiss SMT, for which ASML will pay EUR 1 billion in cash. The companies stated that no further exchange of shares is planned or agreed.

“With this agreement we clear the road for advanced lithography to support the new concepts and designs for future generations of advanced chips. After the many years of fruitful partnership, we see this agreement as a further strong endorsement of our long term cooperation which allows us to further expand our joint leadership that we have already accomplished together”, says Michael Kaschke, President and CEO of ZEISS.

“In 2018 the first chips made on current technology EUV scanners are expected to roll off the production lines of our customers. A lot of work is still being done to ensure the introduction of EUV in volume manufacturing, in tight conjunction with our highly successful immersion scanners which we continue to improve.” says Peter Wennink, president and CEO of ASML.

Wennink continues; “Yet ASML and ZEISS are looking beyond this important milestone. We see a long and successful future for EUV lithography in advanced chip manufacturing and with this agreement we set the right conditions for development of the next generation of EUV by ASML and Carl Zeiss SMT, so that our customers can reap the rewards of their EUV investments up to the end of the next decade,”

In addition to the agreement of the minority interest, the two companies have also agreed that ASML will support Carl Zeiss SMT`s R&D for about EUR 220 million as well as capital expenditures and other supply chain investments for approximately EUR 540 million over the next 6 years.

These investments will predominantly be allocated at Carl Zeiss SMT’s main location in Oberkochen, Germany, and will for the most part be used for capacity and resource expansions.

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