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ST to import CMOS, change Crolles function

Posted: 29 Jan 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:STMicroelectronics? wireless? wafer? CMOS? 32nm?

STMicroelectronics NV (ST) CEO Carlo Bozotti told analysts last week (Jan. 24) that the company would align with "industry leaders" to obtain a 32nm CMOS process for use in its wafer fabs and as a platform for specialized extensions.

Hoever, Bozotti did not say who would provide ST with its 32nm CMOS platform but said, "It is obvious we have alternatives."

At present ST is aligned with leading foundry, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd, which is an associate partner to ST, Freescale Semiconductor Inc. and NXP BV in the Crolles2 R&D alliance.

Speaking during a conference call for analysts Bozotti said that the Crolles2 Alliance would complete the development of 45nm CMOS process technology during 2007 but there would then be a "discontinuation" in the role of the Crolles development center and pilot fab.

"The 45nm platform will be finished in the way it was foreseen. The funds to support and complete the 45nm platform are available from ST and our two existing partners. This will be concluded in the course of 2007," Bozotti said

"Because of the increased effort that would be required to fully support the 32nm technology platform in Crolles2 we have decided that the core technology for 32nm would become available through partnership with industry leaders in this field," Bozotti said, adding, "while in Crolles we will focus on the proprietary technology derivatives fundamental for our wireless business." He listed image sensor, radio frequency and analog extensions to basic CMOS as the technologies that would be developed at Crolles.

"It is a clear change in strategy...but Crolles will remain the key center for advance technology development while on the CMOS bulk we will align with industry leaders and make sure this technology is available in our facilities," Bozotti said.

Bozotti did not specifically address whether Crolles would return to the sole use of ST or whether partners would be sought to cooperate on the development on process module extensions.

- Peter Clarke
EE Times Europe

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