Komatsu Ltd. (hereinafter "Komatsu") (President and CEO: Kunio Noji) and Ushio Inc. (hereinafter "Ushio") (President and CEO: Mr. Shiro Sugata) have agreed to terminate the ongoing 50-50 joint-venture agreement regarding Gigaphoton Inc. (hereinafter "Gigaphoton") (President and CEO: Yuji Watanabe), and that Komatsu will purchase the remaining 50% shares from Ushio. As a result, Gigaphoton will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Komatsu. Both parties will engage in the transactions of shares with a plan to complete the transaction around the middle of May.
Gigaphoton was established by Ushio and Komatsu as a 50-50 joint-venture company to develop, manufacture, sell and service excimer laser light sources for lithography tools in August 2000. Since then, Gigaphoton has integrated Komatsu-owned excimer laser technologies, production facilities, Ushio's excimer laser technologies and global sales and service networks. Today, Gigaphoton has successfully expanded business, obtaining about a 50% share of the global marketplace.
At present, Gigaphoton has an urgent need for the research and development of an extreme ultraviolet (EUV) light source as the next-generation lithography tools. To this end, Gigaphoton is working on the laser-produced plasma (LPP) method, while Ushio is working on the discharge-produced plasma (DPP). When these two methods are established for commercial applications in the near future, Gigaphoton and Ushio will be competing on the same market. In this light, the two parent companies have decided to terminate the joint-venture agreement to promote mutual growth in the same industry.
While Gigaphoton is currently accounted for by the equity method, Komatsu plans to treat Gigaphoton as a consolidated subsidiary starting in the second quarter of the current fiscal year after purchasing the shares from Ushio Inc.
|Head office||400 Yokokurashinden, Oyama-shi, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan|
|Representative||Yuji Watanabe, President and CEO|
|Lines of business||Development, manufacturing, and sale of excimer lasers and EUV light sources used for lithography tools in semiconductor manufacturing|
|Established||August 1, 2000|
|Shareholders and share holding ratios||Komatsu Ltd. 50%
Ushio Inc. 50%
Progress of Lithography Light Sources in Semiconductor Manufacturing
In response to higher integration needs, the lithography light sources have made steady progress to transfer the circuit patterns of CPUs and memories on silicon wafers for shorter wavelengths, from g-line (using 436 nm wavelength) and i-line (365 nm) to 248 nm KrF and 193 nm ArF excimer light sources both of which Gigaphoton supplies today.
While the ArF excimer laser light source is most commonly used in leading-edge semiconductor manufacturing today, the lithography light source industry is promoting research in the commercialization of an EUV light source of an extremely short wavelength of 13.5 nm in the next-generation semiconductor manufacturing.
An EUV light source produces high-temperature, high-density plasma to take out the EUV beam in the wavelengths of 10 to 15 nm. There are two methods to produce plasma: the LPP method in which plasma is produced by collecting powerful laser beams on a specified material, and the DPP method in which plasma is produced by charging large-current pulses between the electrodes.
Information in the news releases is current on the date of the announcement and is subject to change without notice.
KOMATSU Corporate Communications