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IBM, Chartered, Samsung, Infineon and Freescale Expand Technology Agreements


Alliance Partners Will Collaborate to Develop and Manufacture Advanced 32-Nanometer Semiconductors

In a move that signals a firm and ongoing commitment to future technology leadership, IBM and its Common PlatformTM technology partners Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing and Samsung Electronics, along with joint-development alliance partners Infineon Technologies AG and Freescale Semiconductor, have signed a series of semiconductor process development and manufacturing agreements.

The joint development agreements between these companies will now include 32-nanometer (nm) bulk complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) process technologies and joint development of process design kits (PDKs) to support that technology. Building on the success of earlier joint development and manufacturing agreements at 90nm, 65nm and 45nm, alliance partners will be able to produce high-performance, energy-efficient chips at 32nm.

The partners plan to pool their combined expertise and collaborate to design, develop and manufacture advanced technology through 2010. Those technologies, which are the leading platform for a broad range of systems -- ranging from next-generation hand-held products to the world’s highest performance supercomputers -- may be used by the five partners and other companies to help solve real-life problems in fields such as medicine, communications, transportation and security.

’Collaborative innovation key to leadership’
“IBM remains convinced that collaborative innovation in an open ecosystem of partners is the key to technology leadership, both now and in the years to come,” said Michael Cadigan, general manager, semiconductor solutions, IBM Global Engineering Solutions. “Today’s announcement validates that strategy by meeting client requirements for leadership technology. With the extensions of our agreements to the 32nm generation -- including manufacturing and IBM Research to complement the proven joint development model in place for well over a decade -- IBM is working together with its alliance partners to deliver leading-edge technology that promises to dramatically change the way we live, work and play.”

”Infineon continues its successful strategy to develop the most advanced technologies with its alliances and to manufacture them with partners,” said Dr. Franz Neppl, senior vice president, Base Technologies & Services, Infineon Technologies AG. “The jointly developed technologies, together with Infineon’s application and product design know-how, will enable Infineon to provide to our customers cost-effective system-on-silicon solutions and manufacturing capabilities for our core business in communications and automotive/industrial areas"

“Major new challenges are expected at the 32nm node, both in materials as well as device structures,” said Dr. Oh-Hyun Kwon, president, System LSI Division, Semiconductor Business, Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. “We expect to deliver breakthrough technology by working together with our partners, who bring a variety of expertise as leaders in the industry.”

IBM, Chartered and Samsung, as Common Platform technology manufacturers, will be able to use the jointly developed 32nm process technology and design kits to synchronize their manufacturing facilities. This helps facilitate the flexibility to produce nearly identical chips for their respective high-volume OEM clients, who require a multi-sourcing model and expect early access to process technology.

The five companies will work together to deliver industry-leading technology for high-performance and low-standby power products through :

* a focus on low cost and minimum complexity while retaining performance leadership
* implementation of new materials such as high-k/metal gate, advanced stress engineering, and extreme low-k films in the back-end-of-line (BEOL)
* state- of- the-art immersion lithography to achieve competitive density and chip size
* a focus on quality analog models for the digital communications marketplace
* providing a platform for derivative technologies such as RF CMOS and embedded DRAM, or eDRAM

In addition, by using common manufacturing electrical specifications across manufacturing platform partners, technologies can more easily be transferred between partner facilities.

“The industry has recognized the value and importance of the collaborative model in driving robust, cost-effective solutions,” said Chia Song Hwee, president and CEO of Chartered. “As we now collaborate on our fourth node under this joint model, we have seen how each company brings unique strengths and expertise to drive a customer-centric offering. The results of our collaboration have served as a platform for providing customers with world-class, flexible sourcing solutions.”

The 32nm cooperation will include the joint development of an enablement package, similar to previous alliance developments. This package will support the most common design tools that will allow customers to utilize the full potential of this advanced technology for their specific products.

As with previous nodes, 32nm development activities will be conducted at IBM’s state-of-the-art 300 millimeter (mm) semiconductor fabrication facility in East Fishkill, N.Y. Freescale originally announced its membership in the alliance on Jan. 23.


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