PARIS Shortly after the French government agreed to provide subsidies for STMicroelectronics’ sites in Crolles and in Grenoble (France), the European chipmaker has announced it would invest 1.2 billion euros ($1.8 billion) in Crolles as part of a development program from 2008 to 2012, according to French magazine Les Echos.
As part of the development program, ST and its partner IBM Corp. will develop manufacturing processes (including 45-nm manufacturing process technology) for next generation ICs, notified Les Echos.
One year after Freescale Semiconductor Inc. announced its withdrawal from Crolles research and manufacturing site by ending all IC manufacturing activities within the Crolles2 Alliance, the Austin-based company is said to be negotiating its participation in this new development program as part of the alliance ST and IBM inked in January of 2007, reported Les Echos.
Questioned by EETimes Europe on the development program, Didier Dedeurwaerder, head of press relations for STMicroelectronics in the Grenoble area, said it was delicate and premature to comment on projects that are going to be presented and discussed.
“This is a positive announcement from [French Minister of Economy, Finance and Employment] Mrs. Lagarde who has commissioned the Prefect of Isère to get to the heart of the matter and formalize negotiations with local authorities as early as possible,” stated Dedeurwaerder.
Also this week, French President Nicolas Sarkozy's office notified today (Feb. 27) that the French government has bought 2.85-percent stake in STMicroelectronics NV from Finmeccanica SpA for about 260 million euros (about $386 million).
This transaction aims to preserve ST’s "independence and shareholding stability, while promoting its long-term development as well as its role in the nanotechnology sector in France," the Government added.