Semiconductor foundry United Microelectronics Corp. will join the IBM Technology Development Alliances as a participant in the group’s development of 10 nanometer (nm) CMOS process technology.
The agreement between UMC and IBM expands upon their 2012 agreements concerning prior nodes, including 14 nm fin-shaped field effect transistor (FinFET) technology. The parties plan to develop baseline 10 nm process technology to meet the needs of UMC customers. UMC will send an engineering team to join the 10 nm development work that will take place in Albany, New York, while UMC’s 14 nm FinFET and 10 nm implementation will take place at UMC’s Tainan, Taiwan R&D site.
“Established over a decade ago, the IBM alliance allows the partners to leverage our combined expertise and collaborative research and innovative technology development to address the demanding needs for advanced semiconductor applications,” said Gary Patton, vice president, IBM Semiconductor Research & Development. “UMC is a strong addition to the alliance.”
“We look forward to collaborating closely with IBM, leveraging their deep technology expertise to shorten our 10 nm and FinFET R&D cycles,” said Po Wen Yen, UMC’s CEO.
UMC’s robust foundry solutions allow chip designers to leverage the company’s leading-edge processes, which include 28 nm poly-SiON and gate-last High-K/Metal Gate technology, mixed signal/RFCMOS, and a wide range of specialty technologies. Production is supported through 10 wafer manufacturing facilities that include two advanced 300 mm fabs.
Earlier this year, UMC signed a technology development with Kilopass Technology Inc., a provider of semiconductor logic non-volatile memory (NVM) intellectual property. The agreement calls for Kilopass to port its IP to two of UMC's leading edge 28 nm processes: the High-K Metal Gate 28 HPM in high demand by portable device system-on-chip (SoC) manufacturers and the poly gate 28 HLP favored by consumer electronics SoC designers.
UMC's 28 nm process delivers twice the gate density of 40 nm.
"Enablement of our NVM IP offerings on UMC's major 28 nm nodes is a win for both companies. It provides an expanded IP portfolio in advanced process nodes that UMC can offer its customers. And it broadens Kilopass' reach into mobile device SoCs and consumer electronics SoCs where UMC's 28 nm processes have a growing presence and expanding market share," said Charlie Cheng, president and CEO of Kilopass Technology Inc.
The initial Kilopass-UMC partnership started in 2010 with UMC's 40 LP process, which is available now. This latest agreement expands the relationship into the 28 nm process node.