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IBM, Hitachi forge joint 32nm chip research

Posted: 12 Mar 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:research collaboration? 32nm? semiconductor?

IBM Corp. and Hitachi Ltd have signed a two-year joint semiconductor metrology research agreement to speed the pace of semiconductor innovation.

Miniaturization of transistors, a driving force in improving the performance of computer chips, is being aggressively pursued in the development of next-generation 32- and 22nm devices. The feature size of such minute devices is in the realm of billionths of a meter, and effects at this scale can have a large impact on the electrical characteristics of individual transistors.

The new collaboration will focus on 32nm and beyond semiconductor research and will use new methods that include the latest technologies to analyze semiconductor devices and structures in order to improve the characterization and measurement of transistor variationas well as to develop a better understanding of device physics. Engineers from the two companies and Hitachi's subsidiary, Hitachi High-Technologies, will conduct joint research at IBM's Thomas J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, N.Y. and at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering's Albany NanoTech Complex.

Through the collaboration, the companies also intend to investigate the possibilities for even further transistor scaling.

"Hitachi's cutting-edge semiconductor characterization capabilities, and IBM's state-of-the-art CMOS research capabilities can help the two companies accelerate the pace of semiconductor innovation for the 32nm generation and beyond," said Bernie Meyerson, VP strategic alliances and CTO for IBM's systems and technology group. "By combining individual research strength and intellectual property we reduce the significant costs associated with research needed to advance the next generation of chip technology."

"Our two companies have a long history of successful business collaboration and we look forward to extending this to include the semiconductor metrology research arena," said Eiji Takeda, VP and executive officer, general manager of R&D group, Hitachi.

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