Freescale Semiconductor


January 31, 2005 06:00 ET

Crolles2 Alliance Partners Pool Research Efforts in Advanced CMOS Wafer Probing and Assembly






JANUARY 31, 2005 - 06:00 ET

Crolles2 Alliance Partners Pool Research Efforts in
Advanced CMOS Wafer Probing and Assembly

CROLLES, France--(CCNMatthews - Jan 31, 2005) -

The STMicroelectronics, Philips and Freescale Crolles2 Alliance Adds
300-mm Test and Packaging Development to Industry's Largest Joint R&D

The Crolles2 Alliance partners Freescale Semiconductor (NYSE:FSL)
(NYSE:FSL.B), Philips (NYSE:PHG)(AEX:PHI) and STMicroelectronics
(NYSE:STM) have extended the scope of their joint semiconductor R&D
activities to include R&D related to wafer testing and packaging, in
addition to the original development of sub 100-nm CMOS process

"The combined expertise of Freescale, STMicroelectronics and Philips
will provide the Crolles2 Alliance with an industry-leading packaging
and test foundation. This agreement will enable future generations of
semiconductor technologies supporting applications in the automotive,
consumer, industrial, networking and wireless markets," said the
Alliance members in a joint statement from Rene Penning de Vries, senior
vice president and chief technology officer, Philips Semiconductors;
Claudine Simson, chief technology officer, Freescale Semiconductor; and
Laurent Bosson, corporate vice-president, Front-End Technology and
Manufacturing, STMicroelectronics.

This agreement reflects the special needs of wafer testing and packaging
for devices produced on 300-mm wafers in 90-nm, 65-nm CMOS and beyond.
It will look at all aspects of post-fabrication wafer processing
including probing, grinding, sawing, die attach, wire-bonding, flip chip
and package molding techniques as well as optimization of bond-pad stack

"New materials used in 65-nm processes, such as ultra-low K dielectrics,
significantly change the nature of the silicon that you have to handle
during assembly and test," the Alliance said. "This means that existing
equipment and processes have to be refined to maintain high production

The expanded relationship builds on two years of successful
collaboration in the semiconductor industry's largest R&D alliance. By
combining efforts, alliance members have achieved several milestones in
90-nm production and 65-nm process development.

The partners will establish a new research laboratory in Grenoble
(France) staffed by about 20 scientists and technicians drawn from the
three companies. The partners now have more than 1000 employees working
on front-end process development in Crolles, near Grenoble.

The lab will focus on bond-pad stack design and the assessment of
low-stress probing, sawing and assembly processes including laser
cutting and low-stress molding materials. It will also investigate
requirements specification for the next generation of assembly and test
equipment. The new Crolles2 Alliance assembly and test R&D team will
also work closely with key equipment suppliers.

All three companies now have experience in the production and handling
of 300-mm wafers produced on the Alliance's 90-nm CMOS production line
in Crolles (France). This new expansion of the Alliance for extended R&D
in assembly and test will help the Alliance partners remain in-line with
the ITRS roadmap for process introduction and at the leading edge of
assembly and test technology. Ultimately, it will help to ensure timely
high-volume delivery of devices fabricated in these new processes to
their customers.

About the Crolles2 Alliance

Under a five-year agreement extending through to December 2007, the
Crolles2 Alliance brings together STMicroelectronics, Philips and
Freescale Semiconductor, Inc., in an alliance of unprecedented scope in
the microelectronics sector. Their joint Crolles2 center will focus on
specific technologies at the forefront of semiconductor R&D: baseline
CMOS processing, embedded memories (static, dynamic and magnetic RAM),
Silicon-On-Insulator, analog CMOS, advanced process modules, advanced
copper interconnect, low-power designs and RF capabilities. Starting at
90-nm, the alliance will continue on and develop CMOS processes at
65-nm, 45-nm and, ultimately, the 32-nm node. The Alliance has already
demonstrated successful cooperation between the partners with the early
availability of the industry's first 90-nm CMOS design platform and cell
libraries for system-on-chip solutions.

About Freescale Semiconductor

Freescale Semiconductor, Inc. (NYSE:FSL) (NYSE:FSL.B) is a global leader
in the design and manufacture of embedded semiconductors for the
automotive, consumer, industrial, networking and wireless markets.
Freescale became a publicly traded company in July 2004 after more than
50 years as part of Motorola, Inc. The company is based in Austin,
Texas, and has design, research and development, manufacturing or sales
operations in more than 30 countries. Freescale, a member of the S&P
500®, is one of the world's largest semiconductor companies with 2004
sales of $5.7 billion (US).

About Royal Philips Electronics

Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands (NYSE:PHG) (AEX:PHI) is one
of the world's biggest electronics companies and Europe's largest, with
sales of EUR 30.3 billion in 2004. With activities in the three
interlocking domains of healthcare, lifestyle and technology and 161,500
employees in more than 60 countries, it has market leadership positions
in medical diagnostic imaging and patient monitoring, color television
sets, electric shavers, lighting and silicon system solutions. News from
Philips is located at

About STMicroelectronics

STMicroelectronics is a global leader in developing and delivering
semiconductor solutions across the spectrum of microelectronics
applications. An unrivalled combination of silicon and system expertise,
manufacturing strength, Intellectual Property (IP) portfolio and
strategic partners positions the Company at the forefront of
System-on-Chip (SoC) technology and its products play a key role in
enabling today's convergence markets. The Company's shares are traded on
the New York Stock Exchange, on Euronext Paris and on the Milan Stock
Exchange. In 2004, the Company's net revenues were $8.76 billion and net
earnings were $601 million. Further information on ST can be found at


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