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IBM to make ZF's PC-on-a-chip line

Posted: 14 Oct 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:ibm? zf micro solutions? pc-on-a-chip? x86? wafer?

ZF Micro Solutions Inc. on Wednesday (Oct. 17) said that it has entered into a multi-year foundry services agreement with IBM Corp.'s Microelectronics Group.

Under the terms, IBM will manufacture ZF Micro's x86-based PC-on-a-chip line. IBM will make the ZFx86 FailSafe PC-on-a-Chip product exclusively for ZF Micro at IBM's wafer fab in Burlington, Vt.

Over the life of the agreement, the parties may extend the relationship to cover additional products with IBM's Engineering & Technology Services division.

ZF plans to begin sampling the ZFx86 chip late in the fourth calendar quarter of 2005, with volume production scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2006.

"Our selection of IBM comes after months of careful review of the factors necessary to assure our customers of a secure source of supply," said David L. Feldman, president and chief executive of ZF Micro, in a statement.

"We expect that the mutual goal of ZF and IBM to deliver products of the highest quality and reliability, utilizing IBM's world-class foundry technology, will result in a successful long-term relationship," said Tom Reeves, vice president, Semiconductor Products for IBM Systems & Technology Group, in a statement.

After a three-year legal battle with National Semiconductor Corp., ZF Micro said a settlement agreement gave it the rights to all IP within the chip to make or migrate the ZFx86 design to other foundries.

In March of 2005, the company began the task of rebuilding its market presence based on continuing strong demand for the ZFx86 FailSafe PC-on-a-Chip that was the focus of the litigation. The ZFx86 had achieved more than 400 design wins worldwide, according to the company.

National issued an end-of-life notice for the product in February, 2004. After contracting to design and manufacture the chip for ZF Micro, the two parties fell into a dispute.

- Mark LaPedus

EE Times

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