TAP partner Amkor joins IBM/Chartered/Samsung alliance

September 26, 2006 – The chipmaking manufacturing alliance led by IBM, Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing, and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. has added another supplier to their roster. Amkor Technology Inc. is collaborating with the group to qualify 90nm and 65nm flip-chip packaging and design capabilities for the group’s “Common Platform,” and has begun 45nm qualifications for next-generation semiconductor applications.

When launching the chipmaking alliance in Sept. 2005, Chartered officials pointed out the alliance’s combined capital spending budgets far exceeded single chipmakers such as Intel and TI, or other industry alliances such as Crolles. Between the lines, the message spoke to potential capex leverage for suppliers — having a common platform and common development partners suggests that tool selection and implementation will be similar if not identical among chipmaker participants.

Amkor execs were visible present at that launch presentation. And back in 2004, Amkor purchased IBM’s packaging operations in Singapore and Shanghai in a $145 million outsourcing deal, in return for a big chunk of IBM’s wire bond and flip-chip assembly and final test business.

Mike Barrow, Amkor’s SVP of flip chip business unit, noted in a statement that the new collaboration “provides Amkor with early access to advanced silicon, enhancing our ability to develop assembly and test collateral for next-generation applications.” He added that over the past year Amkor already has delivered over 10 million flip chip packages for the 90nm Common Platform.

“Extending the Common Platform technology ecosystem to include collaboration on advanced wafer bump and flip chip processes is a natural step in our evolution to provide clients complete solutions,” stated Kevin Meyer, VP of worldwide marketing and platform alliances at Chartered, adding that Amkor’s presence in Singapore for packaging and test services “will greatly reduce our customers’ time to market.”

Ana Hunter, VP of technology for Samsung Semiconductor Inc., noted that Amkor and Samsung are also working on lead-free bump and assembly solutions, and aim to continue those efforts to 45nm process development.


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