Motorola, ST and Philips in $1.4 billion chip alliance

Three of the world’s top semiconductor manufacturers today announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding proposing to create an alliance dedicated to semiconductor technology development.

Three of the world’s top ten semiconductor manufacturers today announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding proposing to create a comprehensive alliance dedicated to semiconductor technology development.

The alliance plans to create future-generation technologies and System-on-Chip solutions more quickly and cost-effectively.

The alliance joins together STMicroelectronics, Motorola and Philips; and would include the participation for process development and alignment of the world’s largest semiconductor foundry, TSMC.

The joint development program will be based in Crolles, France, in the new R&D centre named ‘Crolles2,’ and augmented by each company’s existing operations and laboratories. In addition, to further support the alliance, CEA/LETI, the electronic research laboratory of the French Nuclear Corporation, will increase its research efforts in its Grenoble Labs.

Motorola joins Philips and ST in the 300mm wafer Crolles2 project, a move said to significantly enhance an existing alliance and expands the agreement announced last month by Philips, ST and TSMC to jointly develop CMOS process technology.

The combined resources of the four companies will be dedicated to development of future generations of CMOS technology from the 90 nanometer node down to 32 nanometers over the next five years.

The expanded commitment and access to 300mm pilot capacity at the Crolles site will allow for rapid introduction of the partners’ new products.

Motorola, Philips and STMicroelectronics will be equal technology partners in the Crolles2 alliance in terms of capital expenditure, R&D costs and wafer load. Their joint investment will total $1.4 billion by 2005.