Continuing its aggressive push into the silicon foundry market, IBM Corp.'s Microelectronics Division said Thursday it has forged a major chip-manufacturing deal with Intersil Corp.
Under the multiyear foundry services agreement, the companies plan to install semiconductor process technology from Intersil, Milpitas, Calif., in IBM's fab in Burlington, Vt. The technology transfer will allow IBM to serve as a second-source manufacturer for Intersil's Endura power management ICs.
Intersil's Endura ICs power CPUs, chipsets, memory, graphics, buses and ports for desktop PCs, servers and portable computing appliances. Devices that regulate power and charge batteries are also part of Intersil's power management IC portfolio.
IBM plans to reserve capacity for Intersil's power management ICs manufactured in Intersil's P6 process. The companies may extend the agreement to cover additional processes, including possible jointly developed processes.
IBM said it plans to begin manufacturing Intersil's power management ICs in the first quarter of 2004. The agreement marks an expansion of IBM's foundry services capabilities into power management and other high-performance analog applications.
In addition to Intersil, IBM has also announced foundry relationships with Broadcom, Nvidia, Qualcomm, Xilinx and others.
"We believe that increasingly customers will require deep relationships with their chip manufacturers, to use advanced technologies to create differentiation for their products in the marketplace," said Bernie Meyerson, vice president and chief technologist of IBM Technology Group, in a statement. "IBM plans to work closely with Intersil to help augment Intersil's P6 process with some of our own process technologies."
"We look forward to added manufacturing capacity in our foundry relationship with IBM to help meet the growing demand for Intersil's Endura power management ICs," added Rick Furtney, vice president and general manager of Intersil's High Performance Analog Product Group. "This foundry agreement will enable us to offer our customers a second Intersil source for our Endura ICs and build on our leading position in desktop, notebook and peripheral power management."