SOURCE: SEMATECH

July 13, 2005 10:06 ET

SEMATECH'S New R&D Model Cited as Solution for Suppliers' Cost Pressures

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- July 13, 2005 -- Cost-conscious semiconductor suppliers can control their rapidly escalating R&D costs by piggybacking on the new collaborative model and fab resources that SEMATECH has made available to the industry, attendees at SEMICON West were told Tuesday.

Alex Oscilowski, strategy vice president for SEMATECH, said the pace of innovation that has pushed chip information densities from a mere 1,000 bits in 1970 to 32 billion bits today also has elevated development costs to point where they are threatening to become a greater issue than the technical barriers themselves.

"The economics are starting to overpower the technical challenges," Oscilowski told participants at SEMICON's emerging technologies session. As a result, "No one company can solve all its problems by itself... there's clearly going to be a need for partnering and collaboration among industry suppliers."

Oscilowski traced SEMATECH's "new model" for R&D that closely links university research with the consortium's internal projects in advanced technology, and funnels the results through the rapid processing and prototyping capabilities of ATDF, SEMATECH's independent wafer fab. With ATDF now open to the industry, suppliers can use the new model for their own benefit, Oscilowski noted.

"One of the ways to keep costs down is to take advantage of the capability that's out there," he said. "We're now making the capability that has worked for SEMATECH for nearly 20 years available to the industry at large."

Oscilowski said several suppliers have been able to use the ATDF's 62,000 square feet of full-flow processing to strengthen customer support and work toward technical breakthroughs, including:

--  VESTA Technology, which is partnering with ATDF to create an R&D and
    customer development facility with advanced capabilities for film
    deposition, plasma nitridation and oxidation;
--  Acorn Technologies, Inc., which has chosen ATDF to fabricate their
    proprietary, patented metal insulater source/drain transistor technology,
    XMOS;
--  Soitec and HPL Technologies, Inc., who have teamed with ATDF to
    demonstrate process capability at the 45 nm node for a multi-gate field
    effect transistor (MuGFET)
    
"This is a new model for SEMATECH, extending our capability to the equipment and materials industry," Oscilowski said. "We see this as a way for other companies to drive their R&D costs down... so that the success of the past can continue into the future."

SEMATECH is the world's catalyst for accelerating the commercialization of technology innovations into manufacturing solutions. By setting global direction, creating opportunities for flexible collaboration, and conducting strategic R&D, SEMATECH delivers significant leverage to our semiconductor and emerging technology partners. In short, we are accelerating the next technology revolution. For more information, please visit the SEMATECH website at www.sematech.org. AMRC, Advanced Materials Research Center, ATDF, the ATDF logo, ISMI and International SEMATECH Manufacturing Initiative are servicemarks of SEMATECH, Inc.

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