May 20, 2005 — Tokyo-based Toppan Printing Co. has teamed up with IBM Corp. in the United States to develop photomasks for next-generation semiconductor chips, Jiji Press reported on Thursday. The companies will spend $200 million to launch the joint development project to commercialize next-generation 45-nanometer chips by mid-2007.
Toppan will send technicians to IBM’s Burlington plant in Vermont for the joint project. The two sides will exchange details about their photomask-manufacturing technologies for 65-nanometer chips to rationalize their photomask development operations. Photomasks are the masters used to copy circuit patterns onto silicon wafers, from which semiconductor chips are made. Toppan plans to transfer the photomask technologies it will develop with IBM to its own manufacturing bases in Japan.