AUSTIN, Texas Samsung Electronics has joined the International Sematech Manufacturing Initiative (ISMI), a subsidiary of the chip consortium that concentrates on standards and productivity challenges in chip manufacturing.
ISMI was formed in 2004, with the nine International Sematech joining. Since then, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. (Osaka, Japan) and Spansion LLC, the flash memory company jointly owned by AMD and Fujitsu Ltd., have joined, broadening ISMI's reach among companies based in Asia.
With semiconductor revenues of approximately $17 billion in 2004, Samsung is the second-largest chip company worldwide, with a dominant presence in the DRAM and NAND flash markets. Samsung operates a DRAM fab in Austin, its only fab located outside of South Korea thus far.
Byoung H. Park, manager of the technology planning group for Samsung, said in a statement, "We are especially impressed with ISMI's focus on equipment productivity, which provides significantly greater leverage for our capital investments."
ISMI's core programs include fab productivity, equipment productivity, metrology as well as environment, safety and health. Focused ISMI efforts include
e-manufacturing, standards development, statistical methods and fab industry modeling.
John Schmitz, the chief operating officer at Sematech, said, "ISMI's member companies now represent about 50 percent of world silicon capacity, which gives us considerable influence in helping guide the industry."
Scott Kramer, ISMI director, said: "Samsung's membership will significantly increase our presence in Asia and give us an important window to Korean manufacturing. Plus, their assignees will bring appreciable depth to our overall project mix."