TOKYO Japan's semiconductor industry will launch a five year R&D project starting next April focusing on 45-nm and 32-nm technologies, following the conclusion of the Asuka project next March.
The Japan Semiconductor Industry Association (JSIA), a subgroup of the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA) comprising 11 major Japanese semiconductor makers, has been discussing the new R&D program, based on the second SNCC (Semiconductor New Century Committee) proposal presented last June from industry think tank Semiconductor Industry Research Institute Japan (SIRIJ).
The new R&D plan includes Semiconductor Leading Edge Technologies Inc. (Selete)'s five-year R&D program with a 10 billion yen annual budget to explore practical applications of 45-nm and 32-nm technology and Semiconductor Technology Academic Research Center (STARC)'s five-year program with a 5 billion yen annual budget to develop design platforms focusing on DFM (design for manufacturing).
Presently, the industry-financed Asuka project and a national project named Mirai are being undertaken at the Tsukuba Super Clean Room. But little coordination exists between both projects. To combine industry, academia and national projects more organically, Selete's president will be the project leader of the entire R&D scheme at the Tsukuba Super Clean Room.
Instead of a flat organization of 11 members, Selete will have a stratum system, with four core companies-- Fujitsu, NEC Electronics, Rensas and Toshiba-- and other member companies.
The four companies will lead three leading-edge programs on the front end process, the back-end process and EUV related lithography and mask technology.
"The core companies that especially need to take the lead in technologies can set clear targets and will drive the development," said Satoru Ito, president and chief executive of Renesas technology who is acting as the chairman of JSIA.
The front-end process project will focus on practical use of metal gate/high k material. The back end process project will focus on porous low-k material.