Intel, the world’s largest semiconductor maker, agreed to invest as much as $4.1 billion in Dutch chip-equipment maker ASML Holding NV (ASML) in an effort to shave two years from the time to adopt new production techniques.
A sign that 450mm is very serious is Intel’s investment in ASML. Suppliers have stated all along that if the big chipmakers want suppliers to follow their lead, they must truly lead. Lithography equipment is likely the most critical tool in the fab for 450mm. There have been concerns that EUVL landing right on top of a 450mm wafer size change would be just too much for the industry to handle at once, from a risk point of view. Major investments in EUV will help mitigate this concern.