Chip gear supplier ASML to buy light-tech firm Cymer for $2.5bn

Summary:Pushing ahead beyond its already crucial relationship, ASML is buying Cymer in a bid to speed up the development of "extreme ultraviolet" technology, used in the making of smaller, more efficient chips.

Dutch chip gear maker ASML will buy U.S. deep ultraviolet technology firm Cymer for €1.95 billion ($2.5bn) in a bid to create smaller and more efficient chips, Reuters reports.

San Diego, CA.-based Cymer, a world leader in providing light sources used by chip makers to help make advanced semiconductor chips and processors, already supplies ASML, a maker of machines designed to build semiconductors and microchips. 

The deal will help accelerate the development of "extreme ultraviolet" technology that will help ASML build smaller chips, increasing their power capacity and overall speed. All in all, it means faster and potentially more power efficient chips in smartphones and tablets. 

ASML has already snapped up deals with Samsung , Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), and Intel. All in all, this gives the three companies just shy of a quarter-stake in ASML.

For Intel, the chip maker committed $4.1 billion into ASML research and development fund in a bid to speed up the manufacturing of next-generation chips. As a result of the previous deal between ASML and Intel, it may result in Intel leveraging its relationship with ASML in a bid to take advantage of Cymer's extreme ultraviolet technology. 

Described as a "natural evolution" of the two firm's existing co-operation, ASML president and chief executive Eric Meurice said in prepared remarks: "We expect the merger  to make EUV technology development significantly more efficient and simplify the supply chain and integration flow of the EUV modules. We are also very much encouraged by the opportunities that we expect to create around Cymer's growing advanced Immersion systems and dry Deep Ultraviolet (DUV) Installed Base Products (IBP) business."

The deal is expected to close in the first-half of 2013.

Topics: Hardware, Intel, Processors


Zack Whittaker is a writer-editor for ZDNet, and sister sites CNET and CBS News. He is based in the New York newsroom. His PGP key is: EB6CEEA5.

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