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Renesas seeks own platform for 32nm, beyond

Posted: 15 May 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:32nm process technology? 32nm technology platform? Renesas technology platform?

Announcing positive financial results, Satoru Ito, chairman and CEO of Renesas Technology Corp. said Thursday that "our policy is to have our own process technology beyond 45nm."

Renesas has been collaborating with Matsushita in advanced process development. "We are jointly working on the 45nm process development," Ito said.

On 32nm process development, Ito said, "We believe that it is the most important to have our own platform" from design to process. "We want to keep the capability to maintain our own platform in future business cycles."

Open options
But for volume production of such advanced devices, Renesas won't rely solely on its own processes and facilities. "The percentage of outsourcing of such devices will increase. I don't think that there is not a big difference between our own process and foundries' processes. And we have no intention to lock into a certain foundry but want to search for various possibilities" and flexibility, Ito said.

In its last fiscal year ending in March, Renesas reported sales growth of 5 percent, returning the chipmaker to the black. Sales totalled about $7.9 billion, driven by SoCs and MCUs. Operating profita nearly doubled to $200 million.

For this fiscal year beginning in April, Renesas expects sales to remain level despite company estimates of 9.3 percent growth in the world semiconductor market, excluding DRAMs.

"We are going to increase the sales of MCU and SoC solutions beyond the market growth, but shrinking flash memory sales will cancel the growth. Thus, the business will be flat," said Ito.

Exit from flash
Renesas is withdrawing from the flash memory business. Flash memory is expected to account for about 10 percent of sales this fiscal year.

Capital investment for the current fiscal year will total about $583 million, $83 million less than last year. About $250 million was invested in a 300mm wafer line, expanding monthly capacity to 16,000 wafers.

"The capacity at present just meets the demand. We'll expand the capacity if demand increases," Ito said. Renesas is budgeting about $166 million for the 300mm line this year.

Renesas remains heavily dependent on domestic sales, which account for about 60 percent of total sales. Increasing overseas sales is a strategic focus. "We want to increase sales in China, which now account for about 10 percent in the total sales," said Ito.

- Yoshiko Hara
EE Times




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