12/20/2004 - The Crolles2 Alliance is presenting a total of eight papers at this year's IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) in San Francisco, USA, from 13 to 15 December 2004, demonstrating the joint leadership of its members (Freescale Semiconductor, Philips and STMicroelectronics) in advanced semiconductor research at the 65-nm and 45-nm CMOS nodes. IEDM, which this year celebrates its 50th anniversary, is widely regarded as one of the world's foremost semiconductor R&D conferences, with contributed papers being selected on the basis of technical merit and originality.
Process research and development by the Crolles2 Alliance has already been highly successful in keeping all three companies firmly on the ITRS roadmap. The Crolles2 wafer fab in Crolles (France) is already running production of 90-nm CMOS devices on 300-mm wafers, and is on-target to pilot 65-nm CMOS next year. Beyond that, however, achieving the 45-nm and 32-nm targets on the ITRS roadmap poses considerable challenges for the whole semiconductor industry.
As the thickness of the transistors' gate oxide is scaled in line with their channel length, leakage currents through an oxide layer only a few atoms thick threatens to reverse the reduced power consumption normally associated with migration from one CMOS technology node to the next. In addition, the use of new materials such as high-k dielectrics to overcome gate leakage, low-k dielectrics to reduce interconnect capacitance and new metals to replace polysilicon gates considerably increase process complexity.
The partners in the Crolles2 Alliance have been actively researching solutions to these problems, partially funded by the European Union as part of the IST NANOCMOS project (an integrated project in the European Union's Information Society Technologies priority) and as part of the pan-European MEDEA+ program. Several of the joint papers being presented by the Crolles2 Alliance and its research partners at IEDM 2004 illustrate the highly encouraging results from this work. Many of the papers focus on minimizing the impact of new materials and processes in order to develop CMOS technologies that are compatible with the high-volume production requirements and critical price/performance ratios demanded by the consumer-electronics industry.
As R&D, capital equipment and NRE costs continued to soar at each new technology node, resource sharing through collaborations such as the Crolles2 Alliance have already been highly effective in bringing leading-edge semiconductor technology to consumer-product applications. The quantum leap in the performance of every-day products such as mobile phones, A/V receivers and MP3 players over the last five years is directly attributable to such efforts.
With the need for future wafer fabs to operate at ever-higher efficiencies, such resource sharing is only likely to increase. The extensive in-house R&D capabilities of the Alliance members, combined with their close collaboration with some of the world's leading research institutes and academic organizations in semiconductor research, will continue to ensure that the Crolles2 Alliance members remain at the forefront of the global semiconductor development.
About Freescale Semiconductor
Freescale Semiconductor, Inc. (NYSE:FSL, 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 the third largest independent semiconductor company in the U.S. www.freescale.com
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 29 billion in 2003. It is a global leader in color television sets, lighting, electric shavers, medical diagnostic imaging and patient monitoring, and one-chip TV products. Its 165,600 employees in more than 60 countries are active in the areas of lighting, consumer electronics, domestic appliances, semiconductors, and medical systems. News from Philips is located at www.semiconductors.philips.com.
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 2003, the Company's net revenues were $7.24 billion and net earnings were $253 million. Further information on ST can be found at www.st.com.
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