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Intel, IBM invest $4.4B in R&D facility

Posted: 30 Sep 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:R&D? process technology? IC manufacturing?

Intel Corp. and IBM Corp. are leading a group of semiconductor firms in investing $4.4 billion within five years to build a semiconductor R&D hub in New York, according to Governor Andrew M. Cuomo.

The investment is centered on two projects. The first is led by IBM and its partners that is keen on building next-generations semiconductors. The other is by Intel that will focus on developing process technology for 450mm wafers, dubbed as the Global 450 Consortium, according to Cuomo.

Intel is taking part in the 450mm development effort by IBM, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Globalfoundries Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. Intel separately agreed to establish its 450mm East Coast headquarters to support the overall project management in New York's capitol, Albany.

A spokesperson for IBM said the company and its partners in the Common Platform process technology alliance, Samsung and Globalfoundries, would focus research on developing 22nm and 14nm chips. Further details of the development work will emerge later. Of the $4.4 billion investment in the two R&D projects, $3.6 billion will come from IBM. Cuomo stated that this new commitment by IBM brings its total investment in chip technology in New York to more than $10 billion in the past decade.

Cuomo stated that no private company will receive any state funds as part of the agreement. It is unclear if the companies involved will receive tax breaks or other incentives to locate the projects in New York. To support the project, New York will invest $400 million in five years in the SUNY College for Nanoscale and Science Engineering (CNSE) in Albany, including $100 million for energy efficiency and low cost energy allowances.

New York secured the investments in competition with countries in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, the governor noted. He added that the two R&D programs will create about 4,400 jobs and result in the retention of another 2,500 existing jobs in upstate New York. The roughly 4,400 jobs that will be created include about 2,500 high-tech jobs at CNSE Albany NanoTech Complex, IBM, SUNY Institute of Technology in Utica and CNSE's Smart System Technology & Commercialization Center in Canandaigua.

Some chip makers, including those involved in the Global 450 Consortium, are at the early stages of developing process technology to migrate from building chips on 300mm silicon wafers to 450mm. This will allow them to produce more than twice as many chips per wafer. Equipment vendors initially resisted the migration to a new wafer size, but have gradually come on board and begun creating early-stage production tools.

Intel president and CEO Paul Otellini said the Global 450 Consortium is a critical element for moving the chip industry to the next-generation wafer size. "This new technology will reduce the cost of production, increase productivity for manufacturers and reduce our environmental footprint on a per chip basis."

- Dylan McGrath
??EE Times

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