Chartered seeks out intellectual property

Chartered seeks out intellectual property
David Manners Silicon foundry Chartered Semiconductor of Singapore is accumulating intellectual property (IP) from the design community in a co-operation which could affect the profitability of traditional device manufacturers. “We’re seeking agreements with IP providers all over the world,” Chartered v-p Rob Baxter told EW. “We reckon integrated device manufacturers will have to become fabless – if they’re to keep up with the design houses they will have to put more and more money into IP creation which means they will have less and less to put into process technology and manufacturing.” So the IP companies and the foundries will be the high value, high margin operations, while traditional companies integrating design, production and marketing will be reduced to defining product, devising marketing strategies and running sales teams. Chartered is focusing on two areas: finding IP alliances and developing and installing new process technologies. It is looking for all kinds of IP blocks including CPUs while at the same time bringing up three fabs in Singapore. One of the three is a 20 to 25,000 wafer-a-month, 0.25?m fab which should be full by the second quarter of 2000; the second is another 20 to 25,000 wafer-a-month, 0.25?m joint venture fab with Lucent Technologies to be equipped by the end of 2000; and the third is a 0.18?m, 40,000 wafer-a-month, joint venture fab with Hewlett-Packard which is taking the Motorola copper process. It is expected to produce first silicon early next year. Like its Taiwan rival TSMC, Chartered is not pursuing silicon-on-insulator or SiGe technologies which IBM Microelectronics is increasingly pushing.


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