June 14, 2006 – The planning group formed by Hitachi, Toshiba, and Renesas Technology Corp. to assess the feasibility of a joint 300mm/65nm advanced chipmaking operation, in order to pool investment resources and better compete with industry rivals in the US, South Korea, and Taiwan, has concluded that such a project is not feasible at this time. The project will be dissolved by the end of this month.
However, the demise of the planning group opens the door for other means of collaboration among Japanese chipmakers. Toshiba, Fujitsu Ltd., NEC Electronics Corp., and Renesas Technology Corp. reportedly have agreed to band together to develop standardization of 45nm- and below process technologies for large-scale integration (LSI) chips, emphasizing certain aspects such as effective re-use of IP and libraries. Following technical studies, these standardization efforts are expected to be defined by year’s end, according to local reports.
Renesas and Matsushita Electric already were mass-producing 65nm system chips at Matsushita’s plant in Uozu, Toyama Prefecture, since last fall, and will continue working together for 45nm system chips.