April 16, 2002 – Hsinchu, Taiwan – An alliance between Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) and two European chipmakers will be joined by a fourth partner, US-based mobile phone manufacturer Motorola, in forming an R&D center for nanometer science in eastern France.
The project requires the four companies – TSMC, Motorola, Phillips, and Saint Micro, a France-Italy venture – to jointly invest in the construction of a new 300mm wafer foundry in the same area, reported the Financial Times.
According to French newspaper La Tribune, the international alliance will invest US$1.4 billion over three years.
The French government and the country’s local governments will provide a matching 540 million euros, under pro-foreign investment regulations. Altogether, the investment will amount to 2.8 billion euros by 2007, when the foundry goes into production. The project is expected to provide 1,500 direct job opportunities and 3,000 indirect ones.
According to the country’s finance ministry, the government will provide 19.3% of the total capital, a plan that should be approved by European Union headquarters.
The project’s mission is to find ways to lower costs and do R&D work on nanotechnology so it can be applied to the manufacture of 300mm wafers, meeting demands for IT and telecommunication devices.
Under this joint project, Motorola, Phillips, and Saint Micro will provide capital and labor, while TSMC will provide the nanotechnology know-how, helping the new foundry to set up production.