IBM, Infineon and Chartered Semiconductor forge alliance

Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing, IBM and Infineon Technologies AG have announced a joint development agreement to accelerate the move to 65 nanometer semiconductor manufacturing process technology.

Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing, IBM and Infineon Technologies AG have announced a joint development agreement to accelerate the move to 65 nanometer (nm) semiconductor manufacturing process technology.

The multi-year engagement aligns Infineon’s low-power silicon capabilities with IBM’s process technology and Chartered’s efforts to drive a common foundry process platform that scales from 90nm through next-generation 65nm technology and provides a path to 45nm. Financial details of the new agreement were not disclosed.

The work will be conducted in IBM’s newly opened Advanced Semiconductor Technology Center (ASTC 300) in East Fishkill, New York 300mm development lab.

Nearly 200 engineers from the three companies will work together to define industry-leading process technologies for next-generation semiconductors.

‘Developing advanced semiconductor technology in the ‘nano era’ is becoming increasingly challenging for the entire industry,’ said Dr. John E. Kelly III, senior vice president and group executive, IBM Technology Group. ‘Working together, IBM, Infineon and Chartered can accelerate the development of these technologies, yielding ‘first time right’ chip designs which will improve time-to-market and cost for our customers.’

Chartered, IBM, and Infineon plan to jointly develop a common advanced foundry process at 65nm, as well as variants tuned for high performance and low power. The companies are also exploring extensions to 45nm technology.

To assist foundry customers in designing with these technologies, the companies have also agreed to work together with third-party providers to provide an ecosystem of optimised design tools.

Each company will have the ability to implement the jointly developed processes in its own manufacturing facilities. Both IBM and Chartered plan to have the jointly developed 65nm process installed in their respective 300mm fabs, and to be in a position to support Infineon’s outsourced demand for 65nm products.

‘At a time when chip companies are pressured to deliver sophisticated systems in silicon faster than ever before and get it right the first time, the initial IBM-Chartered technology platform is emerging as a compelling process platform,’ said Chia Song Hwee, president and CEO of Chartered.

‘The joint development model is critical to keeping fabless and fab-lite companies at the leading-edge of process technologies. And, combined with our cost-effective foundry services, it provides an attractive low-risk outsourcing option for world-class IDMs like Infineon,’ added Chia Song Hwee.