EAST FISHKILL, N.Y. -- Logic process partners IBM Corp., Infineon Technologies AG, and United Microelectronics Corp. today formally announced they have begun fabricating advanced ICs with a new 0.13-micron foundry process technology that's now "production ready" and available to customers.
The process technology falls under what UMC calls the "WorldLogic" alliance, which was announced 10 months ago to develop common process technologies for 0.13- to 0.10-micron logic ICs with integrated mixed-signal circuitry and embedded DRAM (see Jan. 27 story).
All three companies have previously indicated that 0.13-micron chips have been in prototype production. In Taiwan, silicon foundry supplier UMC has begun offering multi-project wafers--dubbed "Silicon Shuttle"--which pack multiple 0.13-micron IC designs on a single 200-mm substrates for reduced costs in prototyping (see Nov. 20 story).
According to IBM, Infineon and UMC, dozens of customers are currently designing chips based on their compatible 0.13-micron logic processes. First customer shipments of high performance chips for network communications and computing applications are expected early in 2001, said the three companies today.
The development partnership has resulted in production-ready 0.13-micron logic technology ahead of competitors, said Bijan Davari, an IBM fellow and vice president of technology and emerging products for IBM's Microelectronics Division in East Fishkill. "This is a new development model for the industry," he stated. "By cooperating on the development of the base technology, each of us can concentrate on our unique chip design and manufacturing capabilities to differentiate our offerings in the marketplace."
In Munich, Infineon Technologies officials said the jointly-developed process technology enables the former Siemens Semiconductor division to accelerate the introduction of next-generation communication products and system-on-chip designs. In addition, the logic partnership has enabled Infineon to limit its DRAM business to a 10% market share target (or 30% of its own revenues) while maintaining the ability to produce leading-edge logic ICs, said Peter Bauer, chief sales and marketing officer at the Munich company, during an interview last week (see Nov. 22 story).
Infineon's senior vice president of corporate development, Franz Neppl, said the logic partnership is "another successful step in Infineon's strategy to share risk and cost for development of very advanced technology processes."
The joint development work is being conducted at the IBM Semiconductor Research and Development Center (SRDC) in East Fishkill.