STMicroelectronics NV and IBM Corp. have signed an agreement to collaborate on the development of next-generation semiconductor process technology in a development that demonstrates the ongoing push by many technology companies to share the high costs and risks of developing new products for the semiconductor market.
ST's president and CEO Carlo Bozotti said in a separate statement announcing the company's second quarter results that ST expects to join the IBM consortium "for this cooperative effort at the end of 2007."
Geneva-based ST, which is already locked in efforts to reduce its cost structure, said it will team up with IBM (Armonk, N.Y.) to develop 32- and 22-nm CMOS processes and "design enablement and advanced research adapted to the manufacturing of 300-millimeter silicon wafers."
ST said it will site a development team at IBM's semiconductor and research development center in East Fishkill and Albany, both in New York. In turn, IBM will create a similar development team at ST's 300-mm wafer and fabrication facility in Crolles, France.
The two companies will collaborate on the development of what they described in a joint statement as "a variety of value-added derivative technologies, such as embedded memory and analog/RF."
The new development adds ST to IBM's already existing CMOS technology alliance and brings the membership to six semiconductor companies involved in the development of next-generation process technologies. In addition, the two companies would also bring IBM partners to ST's already existing network of partners at its facility in France.
"Given IBM's distinguished track record in the development of advanced semiconductor technologies, we believe working with them will give both companies the right level of expertise and technical solutions to address and conquer these strategic challenges and ensure time to market of competitive products," said Laurent Bosson, executive vice president, front-end technology and manufacturing at ST.
The companies declined to provide financial details related to the transaction.