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Renesas to pursue 90-, 65nm push

Posted: 29 Jun 2004 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:300mm? wafer fab? asic?

In a move to keep up with current and future chip demand, Japan's Renesas Technology Corp. plans to more than double its production capacity within its 300mm wafer fab over the next year.

Renesas, the joint chip venture between Hitachi Ltd and Mitsubishi Electric Corp., has also moved into 90nm pilot production within its 300mm fab unit in Japan, dubbed Trecenti Technologies Inc. Renesas is also accelerating its 65nm process development, with plans to move the technology into volume production by 2006.

Trecenti is the company's sole 300mm fab. In 2001, Trecenti was set up to be a joint silicon wafer foundry venture between Japan's Hitachi Ltd and Taiwan's United Microelectronics Corp. A year later, Hitachi and UMC announced plans to discontinue their joint-venture 300mm fab company in Hitachinaka City. At the time, Hitachi assumed control of the plant.

Trecenti, which is now owned and operated by Renesas, is currently producing ASICs, flash memories and other products, based on the company's 130nm process technology. The fab is one of the key production bases for its flash line, dubbed AG-AND (Assist Gate-AND).

In fact, the company is ramping up the fab to increase its share of the NAND-type storage memory market. "This year, we're tripling our capacity for flash," said Daniel Mahoney, president and chief executive of the company's U.S. subsidiary, Renesas Technology America Inc.

"Next year, we're doubling it," Mahoney said in an interview at the company's headquarters on Wednesday, June 24, 2004.

Meanwhile, the company's 300mm plant is currently producing 12,000 to 13,000 wafers a month, but Renesas has bigger plans for the plant. "We are expanding our capacity at Trecenti," he said. "By mid-2005, the fab will be expanded to produce 15,000 wafers a month."

The fab is actually a two-story facility capable of producing 40,000 wafers a month. Currently, the second floor of the plant is being used for wafer fabrication purposes. The first floor is not in operation.

Renesas has also begun pilot runs based on its 90nm process within the fab, with production slated for the fourth quarter, Mahoney said. The company is also developing its 65nm process as well. "We've accelerated that schedule," he added.

- Mark LaPedus

Silicon Strategies

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