Three companies—IBM Inc., Armonk, N.Y.; Infineon Technologies AG, Munich, Germany; and UMC Inc., Hsinchu Science Park, Taiwan—will jointly develop advanced technologies for use in semiconductor production. They have agreed to work together to develop common process technologies for building logic chips with circuit sizes from 0.13 to 0.10 µm. The new processes will incorporate copper metallization and allow logic and mixed-signal circuitry, as well as embedded DRAMs, to be combined on a single chip.
The development work will be conducted by a team of scientists and engineers from all three companies at the IBM Semiconductor Research and Development Center (SRDC) in East Fishkill, N.Y. Each company will then be able to implement the processes in their own manufacturing facilities. The companies expect to make details on the first 0.13-µm technology available to customers to initiate their designs in the second quarter of this year.
"We believe more customers will apply the technology in their products, secure in the knowledge that they have multiple sources of supply," says John Kelly, general manager of the IBM Microelectronics Division. Andreas von Zitzewitz, Infineon's COO, also is optimistic. "By combining our companies' complementary distinct top-core competencies, we will be able to master the challenges of the deepest submicron technologies even faster with reduced risk at a reasonable cost," he says. And, UMC chairman Robert Tsao believes, "This agreement represents a path to the future for IC designers around the world."
For further information, go to www.chips.ibm.com/products/asics.