Freescale Semiconductor Inc. is leaving Sematech, according to reports, while Micron Technology Inc. is joining the chip-making consortium.
Freescale (Austin,Texas), one of the founding members of Sematech when it was part of Motorola Inc., is exiting the chip-making organization, according to the Austin Business Journal.
Freescale may have viewed its efforts in Sematech as redundant. The move follows Freescale's announcement to join IBM Corp.'s technology alliance. Under its new R&D strategy, Freescale will become a partner in IBM's technology alliance starting at the 45-nm node. Freescale will also participate in the R&D alliance at the 32- and 22-nm nodes and beyond.
The move appears to be perhaps another nail in the coffin for the troubled Crolles2 Alliance, which is on shaky ground right now. NXP has also left Crolles2.
Meanwhile, Micron (Boise, Idaho) has joined the International Sematech Manufacturing Initiative (ISMI), bringing its overall membership to 14 companies. Micron will participate in ISMI programs that focus on reducing per-wafer and per-die manufacturing costs through advances in equipment, process, resources, fab design, and manufacturing methods.
''ISMI's program captured Micron's interest with its progress in improving fab and equipment productivity,'' said Brian Shields, Micron's vice president of worldwide wafer fabrication, in a statement. ''We appreciate ISMI's focus on making technical achievement its top priority, as we work as an industry to take advantage of digital technology.''
ISMI membership is open to all semiconductor manufacturers with fabs. Participating companies continuously evaluate and refresh the consortium's core programs, which include fab productivity, equipment productivity, metrology, environment/safety/health, and 300 mm Prime/450 mm wafer conversion.