IBM Teams With Singapore Chip Foundry

Partnership aims to help companies cut costs and to give customers access to leading semiconductor technologies.

IBM has entered into a development and manufacturing agreement with Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing that will improve efficiencies and cut costs for the companies while giving customers multiple supply sources and access to leading semiconductor technologies.

Under the agreement, announced Tuesday, the two companies will jointly develop 300mm silicon chips using 90nm (nanometer) and 65nm logic processes, and may later use 45nm processes.

There also is a reciprocal manufacturing part to the agreement in which Chartered, a Singapore-based foundry, will be able to use some of the capacity at IBM Microelectronics units new 300mm chip facility in East Fishkill, N.Y., to produce chips for its customers when demand arises, according to an IBM spokesman. In turn, IBM will be able to use Chartereds 300mm Fab 7 facility in Singapore.

IBMs new 300mm facility will start production in the third quarter of 2003. Chartereds new facility wont open until the third quarter of 2004, but the agreement with IBM will give the company access to IBMs plant until then.

For customers who use foundries to build their chips, the agreement will give them leading-edge development sites, as well as technical expertise and services, with the goals being to decrease their time-to-market and costs, the companies said.

Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.