Santa Clara, Calif. and Hsin-Chu, Taiwan, May 4, 1999- Numerical Technologies, Inc. (NumeriTech) and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) today announced a strategic partnership to jointly develop technology, processes, and flows that will enable TSMC's customers for the first time to design and manufacture subwavelength ICs.
Under the agreement, TSMC will use NumeriTech's phase-shifting and associated subwavelength technologies to manufacture silicon with subwavelength feature sizes using TSMC's standard processes and existing manufacturing equipment.
"NumeriTech is the only TCAD provider we've seen with the technology, the people, and the business model required to solve the complex subwavelength problem," said Shang-Yi Chiang, Vice President of R&D, TSMC.
Chiang continued, "NumeriTech's software is critically important to a high-throughput solution. NumeriTech has demonstrated their ability to execute on a sound strategy and vision, through essential industry alliances and an integrated solution from layout and verification through silicon manufacturing. We believe this technology and product strategy will allow our customers to make the transition from near-subwavelength to true subwavelength with minimal frustration."
"With their phenomenal success, TSMC has served as a model for the many new entrants in the foundry business," said Y.C. (Buno) Pati, president and CEO of NumeriTech. "TSMC has an excellent reputation for customer service, and we are honored to be their partner for advanced subwavelength solutions. Our joint customers will benefit by having easy access to the industry's only proven manufacturable phase-shifting solution."
TSMC's customers will be able to use NumeriTech's patented phase-shifting technology to achieve the performance advantages of subwavelength features using TSMC's familiar, predictable manufacturing process. Throughout the design-to-manufacturing flow, customers will also receive NumeriTech's support for subwavelength designs that require the application of phase shifting and OPC, technologies that together enable semiconductor device features to be printed at subwavelength dimensions while improving yield and performance.
The current generation of optical lithography equipment prints IC designs onto wafers at the wavelength of light, 248 nanometers. When IC features such as the gates on transistors are smaller than the wavelength of light, features become distorted or disappear altogether, which adversely affects yield and degrades chip performance. NumeriTech is addressing this subwavelength problem by integrating phase shifting and OPC throughout the process, all the way through design layout, mask manufacturing, process development, and silicon fabrication.
TSMC (ADS traded NYSE: TSM, also traded on TSE) is the world's largest dedicated integrated circuit (IC) foundry and offers a comprehensive set of IC fabrication processes, including processes to manufacture CMOS logic, mixed-mode, volatile and non-volatile memory and BiCMOS chips. Currently, TSMC operates two six-inch wafer fabs (Fab 1 and 2) and three eight-inch wafer fabs (Fab 3, 4, and 5), all located in Hsin-Chu, Taiwan.
In mid-1998, TSMC announced that production wafers were being delivered from its first U.S. foundry, WaferTech, a joint venture with Altera, Analog Devices and Integrated Silicon Solutions, Inc. The company has broken ground in the new Tainan Park, which will house Fabs 6 and 7 and recently announced its participation in a $1.2 billion joint venture fab with Philips Semiconductor which is scheduled to open in Singapore in 2000. TSMC's corporate headquarters are in Taiwan. More information about TSMC is available through the World Wide Web at http://www.tsmc.com.tw.
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