IBM, Infineon and UMC to develop advanced chip technologies

Jan 27, 2000 | Technology Media

Joint press release by IBM, Infineon and UMC on the occasion of a press conference in Taipei

TAIPEI, Taiwan, January 27, 2000 -- IBM, Infineon Technologies, and UMC today announced plans to jointly develop leading technologies for use in the production of semiconductors. Under the agreement, the three companies will work together to develop common process technologies for building logic chips with feature sizes from 0.13 to 0.10 micron (1 micron equals 1/100 the width of a human hair). These new processes will incorporate copper wiring and allow logic and mixed-signal circuitry and embedded DRAM memory 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 the US. Each company will then have the ability to implement the processes in its own manufacturing facilities. The current development agreement extends through 2003. The companies expect to make details on the first 0.13-micron technology available to customers to initiate their designs in Q2 2000.

“Our efforts in developing leadership chip technologies are widely recognized; this agreement is intended to make them more widely available,” said Dr. John Kelly, general manager of the IBM Microelectronics Division. “As IBM, Infineon and UMC jointly develop and introduce new manufacturing processes, we believe more customers will apply the technology in their products, secure in the knowledge that they have multiple sources of supply. This is another example of IBM’s commitment to bringing advanced technologies into the mainstream.”

"In 1998, Infineon and IBM extended their longstanding and successful DRAM alliance into developing logic and eDRAM technologies starting with the 0.18 micron generation. Teaming up with UMC, one of the world’s leading foundry providers, will add even more momentum to this alliance creating what we expect to be a truly exciting logic and embedded memory technology platform for system integration on chip. This is a true cooperation consisting of one joint team," said Dr. Andreas von Zitzewitz, COO of Infineon Technologies. "We believe that by combining our companies' complementary distinct top core competencies, we will be able to master the challenges of the deepest sub-micron technologies even faster with reduced risk at a reasonable cost per partner. Our goal is to consistently provide leading-edge logic and eDRAM technology platforms to our customers."

“We are happy to join IBM and Infineon, two companies that clearly share our commitment to state-of-the art technology. We believe that this agreement represents a path to the future for IC designers around the world,” said Robert Tsao, Chairman of UMC.

Jim Kupec, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing and Sales, said, “With the combined expertise of IBM, Infineon and UMC, we believe that the processes that we jointly develop will represent a new global standard for quality in logic semiconductor manufacturing. Hence, UMC will market these processes to our foundry customers under the brand name Worldlogic.”

About IBM

IBM Microelectronics is a key contributor to IBM's role as the world’s premier information technology supplier. IBM Microelectronics develops, manufactures and markets state-of-the-art semiconductor technologies, products, packaging and services. Its superior integrated solutions can be found in many of the world’s best-known electronic brands. More information about IBM Microelectronics can be found at

About Infineon

Infineon Technologies AG, Munich, Germany, offers semiconductor solutions for applications in the wireless and wired communications markets, for the automotive and industrial sectors, and for security systems and chip cards as well as memory products. With a global presence, Infineon operates in the US from San Jose, CA, and in the Asia-Pacific region from Singapore. In the fiscal year 1999 (ending September), the company achieved sales of EUR 4.24 billion (US $ 4.51 billion) with 25,800 employees worldwide. Further information at

About UMC

UMC, a world leading semiconductor foundry, with headquarters located in Taiwan’s Hsinchu Science Park, has nine wafer fabs (including seven 8” fabs) in operation. UMC also operates the only dedicated foundry in production in Japan, Nippon Foundry Inc. (NFI), and has formed a second joint-venture foundry company in Japan in cooperation with Hitachi to manufacture 12-inch wafers. UMC is a leader in foundry technology and expects capacity to reach 2.4 million wafers per year in 2000 with over half in advanced 0.18 and 0.25-micron technology. UMC is currently in volume production of 0.18-micron technology and will offer copper-interconnect and 0.15-micron logic technology to its foundry customers in the first quarter of 2000. The company has also started construction on a 12-inch facility in Taiwan that is expected to enter production by mid-year 2001 with a design capacity of 30,000 wafers per month. UMC has marketing and customer support offices located in the United States, Japan, and the Netherlands. UMC can be found on the web at

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