IBM/Hitachi in semiconductor research deal

11 Mar 2008

IBM and Hitachi are to link up for advanced research on semiconductors, it has emerged.

The two companies signed a unique, two-year joint semiconductor metrology research agreement in order to speed the pace of semiconductor innovation.

The two companies currently work together on enterprise servers and other products but this is the first time they have collaborated on semiconductor technology.

The new collaboration will focus on 32-nanometre and beyond semiconductor research and will use the latest technologies to analyse semiconductor devices and structures in order to improve the characterisation and measurement of transistor variation, as well as to develop a better understanding of device physics.

Under the deal, engineers from the two companies and Hitachi’s subsidiary, Hitachi High-Technologies, will conduct joint research at IBM’s Thomas J Watson Research Centre in Yorktown Heights, New York and at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering’s Albany NanoTech Complex.

“Hitachi’s cutting-edge semiconductor characterisation capabilities and IBM’s state-of-the-art CMOS research capabilities can help the two companies accelerate the pace of semiconductor innovation for the 32-nanometre generation and beyond,” said Bernie Meyerson, vice-president, Strategic Alliances and chief technology officer for IBM’s systems & 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.”

“Hitachi’s significant expertise in analytical instrumentation and semiconductor physics can promote industry-leading research for next-generation semiconductor technology,” said Eiji Takeda, vice-president and executive officer, general manager of research and development group, Hitachi. “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.”

By Niall Byrne