Semiconductor Equipment

Intel to sell minority stake of IMS to TSMC

14 September 2023
An Intel engineer holds a mask used in advanced lithography tools to create semiconductors. Intel sold a minority stake in toolmaker IMS to TSMC for $4.3 billion to further accelerate advanced equipment solutions. Source: Intel

Intel Corp. has agreed to sell 10% of its stake in IMS Nanofabrication to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) in a $4.3 billion deal that will help the multi-beam mask writing tools vendor gain autonomy.

Intel will retain majority ownership of IMS and the company will continue to operate as a standalone subsidiary.

IMS develops multi-beam mask writing tools that are critical to develop extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUV), a semiconductor manufacturing method adopted for the most advanced technology processing nodes for chips like artificial intelligence and smartphones.

With TSMC taking a piece of the company, it will help to accelerate its growth and drive the next lithography technology phase as the industry transitions into new patterning systems like high-numerical-aperture (high-NA) EUV.

“With enhanced independence, IMS will be well positioned to address the significant growth opportunity for multi-beam mask writing tools over the next decade and beyond,” said Matt Poirier, senior VP of corporate development at Intel.

About IMS

The global semiconductor market is expected to reach $1 trillion by 2030 due to the growing markets for AI, connectivity, ubiquitous computing, cloud-to-edge infrastructure and sensing.

IMS’ technology will play a role in advances in lithography technology like EUV critical for advanced process nodes for these types of applications. EUV and other advanced techniques require mask writing tools like IMS develops, the company said.

Intel initially invested in IMS in 2009 and acquired the remaining stakes in 2015. In June, Intel said it would sell about 20% stake in IMS to Bain Capital, which is working with TSMC on the minority stake deal.

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