IBM, Samsung, Infineon, Chartered Semiconductor and Freescale Semiconductor have signed a series of semiconductor process development and manufacturing agreements.
The joint development agreements will include 32nm 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.
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 focus on low cost and minimum complexity while retaining performance leadership. They will implement new materials, such as high-k/metal gate, and extreme low-k films in the back-end-of-line (BEOL). Immersion lithography will be used to achieve competitive density and chip size. They will also provide 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 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 300mm semiconductor fabrication facility in East Fishkill, N.Y. Freescale originally announced its membership in the alliance on Jan. 23.
Nine months ago, IBM, Chartered, Infineon and Samsung announced first silicon-functional circuits and the availability of design kits based on their collaboration for 45nm low-power process technology.