SAN JOSE, Calif. Amid considerable debate, IBM Corp. is in talks with STMicroelectronics NV and Freescale Semiconductor Inc. to join the Crolles2 Alliance, according to a report from AFX, which cited Le Monde as its source.
IBM, according to the report, would replace NXP in the Crolles2 Alliance. The alliance is a partnership created in 2002 in Crolles, France by STMicroelectronics, Philips and Freescale, with a goal to collaborate in the research, development and industrialization of CMOS process technologies begun at 90-nm and ultimately attaining a 32-nm node.
Some have speculated that NXP would exit the chip-making group. As Philips Semiconductors, now NXP, becomes independent of the Dutch giant Royal Philips Electronics, the new company may be starting off with a bang that shocks its industry partners by withdrawing from the Crolles 2 Alliance.
NXP has not said that it would withdraw from the alliance. The company must make a decision by year's end, according to the report.
Freescale has also been the subject of similar talks, especially when the chip maker was acquired by several equity firms and went private.
And amid uncertainty among its chip partners, the Crolles2 Alliance has put its fab expansion plans ''on hold,'' according to an analyst.
Despite reports about IBM joining the alliance, there is some debate about which company will actually join Crolles2. Michel Mayer, Freescales's CEO and formerly of IBM's Microelectronics group, is pushing for IBM, according to the report.
In contrast, Philippe Geyres, who recently resigned as executive vice president at STMicro, is pushing for Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (TSMC)., according to the report.
A board meeting among the Crolles2 members was held this week to discuss the matter, according to the report.