ASML, a Dutch, publicly listed provider of lithography systems for the semiconductor industry, this morning announced that Samsung Electronics (Samsung) has agreed to buy 3 percent of the company for 503 million euros ($629 million).

In addition, Samsung will contribute 276 million euros ($345 million) to ASML’s research and development of next-gen lithography technologies over five years.

That’s a commitment of $974 million in total to innovation, close to what Samsung was just ordered to pay Apple for ‘stealing’ innovations.

By joining ASML’s so-called ‘Customer Co-Investment Program for Innovation’ and the agreement to contribute 276 million euros over the next five years, ASML has now met its target for aggregate R&D funding of 1.38 billion euros in total.

The stated end goal of the R&D program is to “enable smarter, more powerful, more energy-efficient and cheaper electronic devices for consumers”.

On a sidenote: the Co-Investment Program was announced on July 9, 2012, and Intel, TSMC are also in.

ASML designs, develops, markets and services advanced systems used by Intel, Samsung and other customers (nearly all major semiconductor manufacturers) to create chips that power a wide array of electronic, communications and information technology products.

Basically, they’re part of the reason Moore’s Law still rings true today.

More details, from the press release:

As part of the program, Intel, TSMC and Samsung will each acquire ASML shares, equal to an aggregate 23 percent minority equity stake in ASML for EUR 3.85 billion in cash.

The entire cash proceeds of the share issuance will be returned to ASML shareholders (not including participating customers) through a synthetic buy-back. The shares to be issued to Intel, TSMC and Samsung will be non-voting except in exceptional circumstances.

As announced on 9 July 2012, ASML can issue new shares equivalent to 9.99% of its issued share capital to Intel as per the authorizations granted at ASML’s 2012 Annual General Meeting of shareholders.

Earlier today, Samsung released details of an internal memo sent to employees following Friday’s crushing US legal defeat to Apple.

Though the verdict hit the Korean company hard — to the tune of more than $1 billion — it still believes, or says it believes, that it is more dedicated to innovation than its US rival, which it says is focused on competing via the courtroom.

Image via Flickr / Sweetlabs