ST pairs with Samsung for 32/28nm HKMG

October 1, 2012 – STMicroelectronics says it is using Samsung Electronics’ foundry services for 32nm/28nm high-k/metal gate (HKMG) process technology, and have taped out a dozen system-on-chip devices.

ST was a member of "the Crolles2 alliance in the 1990s and early 2000s with Philips Semiconductors (now NXP), and later Freescale and TSMC. When that alliance concluded, ST paired up with the International Semiconductor Development Alliance (ISDA) alongside IBM, GlobalFoundries, Infineon, Renesas, Samsung, and Toshiba to evaluate and develop 32nm/28nm and 22/20nm CMOS process technologies.

"A foundry relationship with ST demonstrates our commitment to advanced process technology and our 32/28nm HKMG process-technology leadership," stated Kwang-Hyun Kim, EVP of foundry business, device solutions, Samsung Electronics. "We have aggressively ramped 32/28nm capacity and will continue to deliver the most advanced process solutions to our customers."

"In addition to delivering waves of innovative new products, another key to ST’s success in each of our target markets is working with industry leaders," added Jean-Marc Chery, EVP and CTO for STMicroelectronics. "Both ST and Samsung have worked together on advanced process-technology development through the ISDA and that experience has provided significant insight into our ability to work together to meet our objectives and thus provide unique service to our customers in demanding and fast-moving markets."

STMicroelectronics has been working with Soitec, Leti, and IBM on fully depleted silicon-on-insulator (FDSOI) technology starting at the 28nm node; this summer GlobalFoundries was chosen to make ST’s proprietary FDSOI at both 28nm and 20nm nodes, and wireless giant ST-Ericcson plans to use the technology in future mobile platforms. It’s not immediately clear whether or how partnering with Samsung changes this strategy. (Other industry watchers quote ST execs as including both GlobalFoundries and Samsung in their FDSOI plans.)

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