DALLAS -- According to Reuters late today, Texas Instruments Inc. confirmed reports from SBN that it will form a 0.13-micron silicon foundry alliance with China's Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (SMIC) of Shanghai.
The deal was expected (see Aug. 29 story ). As reported on SBN Thursday, Dallas-based TI and foundry startup SMIC are not talking about "trailing-edge" technologies. But rather the two companies are looking to co-develop more advanced foundry processes, including 0.13-micron technologies, according to sources.
According to the Reuters report, SMIC has begun installing the required fab-equipment that would support 0.13-micron process technologies. The technology is reportedly based on TI's process, it was believed.
A final agreement between TI and SMIC is expected to be signed by the end of the year, according to the report.
The deal would give TI some four sources of supply for 0.13-micron chips. TI has its own 0.13-micron technology, but the Dallas-based chip maker also has foundry relationships based on this process node with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. and United Microelectronics Corp.
TI also has a foundry alliance with Korea's Anam Semiconductor Inc. For years, Anam has made DSPs for TI within its 0.25- to 0.18-micron fab.