Canon plans to price its new chipmaking gear at a fraction of the cost of ASML Holding’s best lithography machines, seeking to make inroads into the cutting-edge equipment now playing a central role in U.S.-China tech rivalry.

The Tokyo-based company’s new nano-imprint technology would open up a way for smaller semiconductor manufacturers to produce advanced chips, now almost wholly the domain of the sector’s biggest firms, CEO Fujio Mitarai said.

"The price will have one digit less than ASML’s EUVs,” said the 88-year-old, referring to extreme ultraviolet lithography. Mitarai is now on his third stint as Canon’s president after last stepping back from day-to-day operations in 2016. He added that a final pricing decision hasn’t been made.