SAN JOSE, Calif. NXP Semiconductors on Tuesday (Jan. 16) said that it shall not extend its current cooperation in the Crolles2 Alliance beyond the initial term expiring at the end of 2007.
NXP (Eindhoven, the Netherlands), formerly Philips Semiconductors, has decided to pursue a different path for its future development of process technology. It will work with long-time foundry partner Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (TSMC).
NXP, however, will work together with the Alliance partners in 2007 to complete the current program on 45-nm CMOS and effectively manage the transition.
The Crolles2 Alliance was formed in 2000 and renewed in 2002 when Freescale (then Motorola) joined the existing alliance of STMicroelectronics and NXP (then Philips Semiconductors) to create and manufacture future-generation technologies, TSMC joined the Crolles2 Alliance in 2001 as an associated partner.
Instead of moving ahead with Crolles2, NXP and TSMC announced they will strengthen their cooperation to include advanced R&D in CMOS process technologies as well as manufacturing partnership.
''We've chosen to strengthen our cooperation with TSMC, in the area of advanced CMOS development,'' stated Frans van Houten, NXP president and CEO, in a statement. ''This move will enable NXP to concentrate more on creating innovative, differentiating process options, such as embedded non-volatile technology in 45nm for our state of the art system-on-chip products, while building on the process platform from TSMC.''
The strengthened global R&D cooperation will be built upon the existing NXP Research organization at the IMEC facilities in Leuven, Belgium, and TSMC corporate R&D in Hsinchu, Taiwan. TSMC (Hsinchu) is also a core member of IMEC.
As reported, NXP has dropped hints about its questionable commitment to the Crolles2 Alliance, especially after the chip maker was acquired by a private equity firm.
On Tuesday, STMicroelectronics restated its strong commitment to the Crolles2 Alliance, but it remains unclear if Freescale Semiconductor Inc. or TSMC are committed in the long term. TSMC's foundry rival, IBM Corp., is in talks to join the alliance, according to reports.