The transaction, which was unanimously approved by the boards of directors of ASML and Cymer, would entitle each Cymer shareholder to receive $20 in cash and a fixed ratio of 1.1502 ASML ordinary shares for each Cymer share, ASML said. The total price reflects a hefty premium over Cymer's stock price for the past 90 days, ASML said.
"We are very encouraged that ASML’s resources will enable the combined company to continue to develop and successfully commercialize EUV on an accelerated time frame,” said Bob Akins, Cymer chairman and CEO. "The success of EUV is critical to the semiconductor industry, and we view this merger as very attractive for our shareholders, customers and employees as well as our industry."
ASML currently has six pre-production NXE:3100 EUV systems in the field. The systems are, capable of resolution performance compatible with the 22-nm node in single patterning mode, and have now exposed more than 23,000 wafers at customer sites with good overlay and imaging performance, the company said.
ASML's NXE:3300B, the successor to NXE:3100 is capable of resolution performance compatible with the 14-nm node in single patterning mode, according to ASML. This system has already shown overlay down to 1.3 nm and imaging down to 16 nm in a full-field single exposure using new illumination technology, the company said. Progress continues on improving the productivity of the EUV systems currently limited by the light source, ASML said.
Cymer's EUV light sources have for some time been exposing wafers at up to 11 watts source power at customer facilities, resulting in NXE:3100 productivity of up to 7 wafers per hour, ASML said. ASML and Cymer jointly made significant progress during the summer and have now proven in laboratories a sustained 30-Watt source exposure power potential, which would enable the NXE:3300B to expose 18 wafers per hour, the company said.
The sheer cost of the Cymer purchase alone took a lot of momentum out of the investments by Intel, Samsung, and TSMC, primarily for the sake of 450 mm, and already exceeds their operating cash flow. So there is some handicapping to a degree.
To Diogenes53 - You're correct. We all know innovation starts in the small companies whose exit plan is to be purchased by a big guy. In the case of ETEC and many other acquisitions by AMAT they've certainly had their share of disasters. In 1981 AMAT bought Cobilt; a year later Dan Maydan commented, "Hey at least we got a building out of it." After acquisitions happen the innovation usually grinds to a halt. Corporate HQ has these strategies of grandeur, acquires a company, then throws it to a division and says, "Make something of it." Without TLC and nurturing it withers and finally dies. AMSL's purchase of Cymer is very key to its core technology, so it should work out.
When a larger, particularly European, bureaucratic company buys a smaller company, do technology developments accelerate or decelerate? Remember when Applied Materials bought Etec, which had difficulty bringing its advanced ebeam mask writer to market? It was either disastrous or catastrophic. You couldn't reach any Etec engineers on the phone: they were in endless meetings. As a consequence, the MEBES V was stillborn, at Etec, which had an 80% market share, was dead. JEOL/NuFlare toppled them, making Etec, Applied's largest acquisition at the time, a multi-billion dollar loss, and the death of a then American icon. So....if you think the EUV and source development was too slow before (10 years late?), take a deep, deep breath.
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