Report: Chartered poised to break foundry “duopoly” in Japan

Jan. 9, 2008 – Chartered Semiconductor may be poised to take away business with Japanese foundry customers from top Taiwan foundries TSMC and UMC, thanks to its ties to the IBM Common Platform alliance and Toshiba, a key partner in the group’s next-gen chip development, speculates a local media report.

Toshiba recently extended its two-year collaboration with IBM on 32nm-and below node technologies to include 32nm bulk CMOS process technology, joining five other participants in the work.

Adding Toshiba’s local clout to the IBM “fab club” could be an entry point for Chartered into Japan’s foundry market, possibly starting with Sony, which is mulling plans to start farming out production of PS3 chips to foundries and had been expected to send work to the local “duopoly” of TSMC and UMC, claims the Taiwan Economic News, citing unnamed industry analysts and foreign institutional investors. Sony originally worked with Chartered’s Common Alliance partners Toshiba and IBM on its Cell processor, but in 2007 handed over those manufacturing lines to Toshiba as part of an outsourcing deal involving JV manufacturing at 32nm.

The paper also notes that Chartered is working on 65m chips for AMD and will likely make AMD’s 45nm-based Fusion processor this year, and will further raise its profile vs. Taiwan’s top two foundries as it increases its 30mm fab capacity.


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