IBM, Infineon, UMC Roll Out World's Most Advanced Chip Foundry Manufacturing Process
The announcement comes just ten months after the three companies first announced joint development of the 0.13-micron foundry technology. Dozens of customers are currently designing chips based on the process, and a variety of logic and mixed-signal chips are in initial production at IBM facilities in the U.S., Infineon production lines in Europe, and UMC manufacturing lines in Taiwan. First customer shipments of high performance chips for network communications and computing applications are expected early in 2001.
The 0.13-micron chip-making technology continues the semiconductor industry trend toward smaller, faster, more highly-integrated chip designs. Unlike competing offerings, the 0.13-micron process being implemented at IBM, Infineon and UMC features a unique combination of true low-k dielectric insulation and the highest number of copper wiring layers, designed to meet the high performance and low power consumption demands of advanced customer chip designs. The true low-k dielectric insulation helps electronic signals move faster, potentially adding up to a 30 percent boost in computing speed and performance.
This significant manufacturing milestone is a result of our commitment to rapidly develop and implement a production-ready 0.13-micron foundry technology faster than our competition, said Bijan Davari, IBM Fellow and vice president of technology and emerging products for the IBM Microelectronics Division. This is a new development model for the industry. By cooperating on the development of the base technology, each of us can concentrate on our unique chip design and manufacturing capabilities to differentiate our offerings in the marketplace.
By working together, IBM, Infineon and UMC have established a common, baseline technology, offering customers multiple sources of supply for their components. Each company has the right to implement the technology in its own facilities.
The jointly-developed technology covers a wide range of features including low power, high speed and mixed signal and RF devices essential for the implementation of Infineons next generation communication products and includes a high performance embedded DRAM option, enabling next-generation system on a chip applications, said Dr. Franz Neppl, senior vice president of Infineons Corporate Development Division. The collaboration is another successful step in Infineons strategy to share risk and cost for the development of very advanced technology processes.
IBM, Infineon and UMC are working to speed the delivery of products to their customers through various initiatives, including multi-project test wafers. For example, UMC has established a Silicon Shuttle® program to allow customers to split the mask costs for this state-of-the-art technology, helping them minimize cost and risk as they verify their advanced designs, IP, and prototypes in 0.13-micron silicon. This program is expected to greatly accelerate the adoption of this process as the preferred 0.13-micron technology for advanced integrated circuits.
We are already seeing tremendous interest in the jointly developed technology that UMC is marketing under the WorldLogicSM banner. UMC has already taped-out Silicon Shuttle test wafers carrying the designs of five customers. We have more than 16 additional foundry customers who have started their designs for this technology and will start initial production in Q1 and Q2 of next year, said Dr. Fu Tai Liou, senior vice president and chief technology officer of UMC. With both IBM and Infineon reporting similar customer interest, it is clear that this technology is rapidly gaining acceptance as the premier global foundry solution for the implementation of advanced integrated circuits.
The three companies joint development work has been conducted at the IBM Semiconductor Research and Development Center (SRDC) at IBMs East Fishkill, NY facility. Follow-on work includes plans for further development of a 0.10-micron process technology.
IBM Microelectronics is a key contributor to IBMs role as the worlds 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 worlds best-known electronic brands. More information about IBM Microelectronics can be found at www.chips.ibm.com.
Infineon Technologies AG, Munich, Germany, offers semiconductor and system solutions for applications in the wired and wireless communications markets, for security systems and smartcards, for the automotive and industrial sectors, as well as memory products. With a global presence, Infineon operates in the U.S. from San Jose, CA, in the Asia-Pacific region from Singapore and in Japan from Tokyo. In the fiscal year 2000 (ending September), the company achieved sales of Euro 7.28 billion with about 29,000 employees worldwide. Infineon is listed on the DAX index of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and on the New York Stock Exchange (ticker symbol: IFX). Further information is available at www.infineon.com.
UMC, a world leading semiconductor foundry, operates seven wafer fabs in Taiwan's Hsinchu Science Park. UMC's Japanese subsidiary, Nippon Foundry Inc., has one fab in Japan and UMC's joint venture with Hitachi, Trecenti Technologies, is readying to ramp production in its 300mm fab in Japan. UMC has also started construction on a 300mm facility in Taiwan's Tainan Science Park, with pilot production scheduled to start by third quarter 2001. UMC is a leader in foundry technology, with facilities ramping to reach an annual output of 2.4 million eight-inch equivalent wafers per year in 2000. UMC's joint development program with IBM and Infineon Technologies is progressing with its schedule to introduce the WorldLogic standard 0.13-micron technology this year. UMC serves customers around the world through sales and marketing offices located in the United States, Japan, and the Netherlands. UMC can be found on the web at www.umc.com.
Silicon Shuttle is a registered service mark of UMC. WorldLogic is a service mark of UMC.
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