Taiwan's major foundry service provider, TSMC, has signed a long-term semiconductor cross-licensing deal with RF IC supplier Conexant Systems Inc. of Newport Beach, Calif. TSMC will license Conexant's proprietary RF silicon-germanium (SiGe) biCMOS technology elements. In return, TSMC will provide foundry capacity for Conexant's RF semiconductor process. The agreement enables TSMC to quickly add the SiGe biCMOS capability to its arsenal of processes. It also supplies Conexant with additional wafers as well as another foundry source for its growing RF IC business.
According to Shu Li, Conexant's senior vice president of technology, "This long-term agreement with a major foundry is a validation of our SiGe technology." As a second source, it ensures additional capacity to meet surging RF needs of the future, he adds.
TSMC intends to have a 0.35-µm SiGe biCMOS process with five or six metal layers ready by the fourth quarter. Further advances in this process are expected soon, according to TSMC. Armed with this process, TSMC will target the high-performance networking infrastructure and broadband wireless communications markets.
For additional information, visit www.conexant.com and www.tsmc.com.