Life after Crolles: ST, IBM align for 32-22nm CMOS work

July 25, 2007 – Months after initiating a search for outside partners for 32nm development work, following the wind-down of its Crolles alliance with NXP and Freescale, STMicroelectronics has found its new group of friends: IBM and members of its Common Platform alliance.

Under the announced deal (no financial terms were disclosed), ST and IBM will collaborate on 32nm and 22nm CMOS process technology development, design enablement, and advanced research for both core bulk CMOS and value-added derivatives for system-on-chip technologies, as well as IP development and platforms to speed design of SoC devices. Each company will host a team of technical development workers, with bulk CMOS work done in East Fishkill and Albany, NY, and derivative technologies such as embedded memory and analog/RF explored at the Crolles (France) 300mm R&D fab.

Jointly developed processes will be ramped in volume at ST’s 300mm site in Crolles, and at IBM and other Common Platform partners’ 300mm facilities. Meanwhile, IBM and ST also will work to expand the network at ST’s 300mm fab in Crolles to include others in IBM’s “CMOS technology alliance” for SoC derivative technology development, e.g., wireless and mobile technologies including analog CMOS (power management) and RF CMOS (communications) in cell phones, and image sensors for camera modules.

ST says it will continue to work with IBM and CEA-LETI for advanced technologies targeting future nodes.

“ST has made the strategic decision to focus more of its research and development resources on developing value-added derivatives that capitalize on our extensive know-how in system-orientated technologies,” said Laurent Bosson, ST’s EVP of front-end technology and manufacturing, in a statement. Working with IBM “will give both companies the right level of expertise and technical solutions to address and conquer these strategic challenges and ensure time to market of competitive products.”

Back in January, both NXP and Freescale said they would look outside the Crolles alliance for semiconductor technology development beyond 45nm processes. Freescale is also working with IBM and its partners, while NXP has tightened ties with TSMC.


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