UMC, ATDF to explore new chip techs

July 12, 2007 – Taiwan foundry United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC) and SEMATECH’s Advanced Technology Development Facility (ATDF) are extending their year-long collaboration to evaluate “emerging technology products,” focusing on specialty technologies such as nanotech and memory designs.

ATDF will assess feasibility and perform qualification testing for groups or companies technologies; UMC then will review ATDF’s test results to evaluate the technologies’ manufacturability and commercialization potential, and select potential manufacturing partners.

The extended partnership “gives technology innovators an important new resource for implementing their best ideas,” providing a clearer path to manufacturing in a foundry, particularly important for the industry’s smallest players, noted Dave Anderson, ATDF general manager, in a statement.

Joe Ko, VP of UMC’s specialty technology division, added that the partnership not only keeps UMC at the edge of semiconductor R&D, it also helps UMC target more fabless firms and startups who need a manufacturing partner to commercialize their IP.

UMC and ATDF originally forged the partnership in May 2006, under which ATDF was to manage several custom technology development projects. UMC has stood out as the only major foundry player without participation in some kind of partnership or consortium to develop leading-edge process technologies. Rival TSMC had worked with Crolles2 Alliance partners Philips, STMicroelectronics, and Freescale Semiconductor, while Chartered is allied with IBM, and SMIC has ties to Infineon and Toshiba.


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