LONDON – As expected Japan's Renesas Electronics Corp. and foundry Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. have announced an increase in the collaboration between the companies on microcontrollers, a market in which Renesas is a leader.
The two companies announced Monday that they have agreed to extend the MCU technology collaboration to 40-nm embedded flash process technology and that in addition TSMC will be able to make the MONOS (Metal-Oxide-Nitride-Oxide-Silicon) embedded flash platform available to other customers.
The announcement is likely to form only part of a much-expected overhaul of Renesas. No mention was made in a press statement of any plans to elimate jobs at Renesas or to transfer a system-chip wafer fab in Yamagata to TSMC, which have been topics of recent speculation.
Renesas is already outsourcing the manufacture products based on 90-nm eFlash process technology to TSMC. Under the latest agreement Renesas will outsource MCU production at 40nm and future technologies. By making the MONOS process platform available to other semiconductor suppliers around the world – including fabless companies and IDMs – Renesas and TSMC aim to set up an ecosystem and further widen the customer base.
"Based on what we have learned from the Great East Japan Earthquake last year, which brought major impacts to several of our manufacturing sites and our customers businesses, we have been accelerating the construction of the fab network as part of the company's business continuity plan," said Shinichi Iwamoto, senior vice president of Renesas, in a statement issued by TSMC.