August 20—ASML Holding NV just opened a new state-of-the-art training facility in Tainan, Taiwan for its client, Taiwanese Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC). The Dutch brand’s employees will teach the chipmaker’s engineers how to use its extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography machines.
The equipment company’s latest facility launch follows the Taiwanese government’s call for more foreign investment in its local technology industry.
ASML and TSMC’s Mutually Beneficial Partnership
ASML’s new training complex will likely be beneficial to both companies. While the firm is Europe’s largest semiconductor machinery brand, the Taiwanese manufacturer is its biggest customer. Asian Nikkei Review states 20 of the 35 EUV systems ASML intends to ship this year are going to TSMC. By familiarizing more of the chipmaker’s staff with its tools, the Dutch concern is setting up future sales.
ASML also plans on opening a new research and development facility in Taiwan, which will bring its local headcount over 500 by 2023.
At present, the island nation is home to the world’s largest EUV installed base because of TSMC’s equipment purchases. Right now, only the contract manufacturer and Samsung use ASML’s machines to make their chipsets. As TSMC revealed it would expand its production capacity in its home country, the firm’s importance to ASML will only grow.
Taiwan’s Growing Semiconductor Industry Ambitions
In June, the Taiwanese government unveiled a NT$10 billion ($334 million) subsidy program to entice foreign chipmakers to increase their investments in-country. Taipei pledged to cover as much as half of a semiconductor company’s research and development costs if they opened a new domestic complex. The East Asian state’s officials hope the plan will generate NT$40 billion ($1.3 billion) in outside financial commitments.
ASML did not mention the initiative in its press release announcing its new facility. However, the manufacturer thanked the local government for helping it establish the new training center. The firm also highlighted its dedication to the region and committed to expanding its footprint on the island.
Since Taiwan is a hub for cutting-edge semiconductor manufacturing, it would not be surprising if other chipmakers expanded their local presence. While China, Germany, Ireland, Israel, India, and the United States are working on increasing their electronic components resources, the East Asian country has the advantage in terms of technological sophistication.
As ASML and TSMC’s relationship appears rock solid, Taiwan probably will not lose that edge anytime soon.