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Posted: June 22, 2007
BASF And IBM Team Up In 32nm Chip Venture
(Nanowerk News) BASF announced today that it has entered into an agreement with IBM to jointly develop electronic materials required in the production process of the most advanced integrated circuits (ICs). Under the agreement, BASF and IBM will develop chemical solutions for the IC manufacturing process of new high-performance, energy-efficient chips based on 32-nanometer (nm) technology. The technology as well as its related chemicals and materials are expected to be commercialized by major companies in the semiconductor industry in North America, Asia and Europe as early as 2010.
”We are taking a big leap forward to face the future challenges of the IC industry,” said Dr. Ralf Fink, Senior Manager BASF Electronic Materials. “The cooperation will benefit from IBM’s leading semiconductor process development and BASF’s expertise and innovations in chemicals and nanotechnology,” he added.
“IBM and BASF believe this project will enable both parties to stay at the leading edge of the semiconductor industry,“ said Dr. Ronald D. Goldblatt, Distinguished Engineer and Senior Manager, IBM Research. “Chemistry will increasingly play an important role in the development of the next generation (32 nm) IC products. BASF will provide an extensive and interdisciplinary background that only a major chemical company can offer, and long years of experience in the field of semiconductor-related chemical solutions.”
Today’s latest state of the art chip technology (45 nm) will be introduced at the end of 2007. However, the ongoing development towards smaller minimum feature sizes is already starting to generate major challenges for materials and chemicals. The research for this project will be carried out jointly at IBM’s facilities in Yorktown Heights, N.Y., U.S.A. and BASF’s headquarters in Ludwigshafen, Germany.
In 2006, the IC industry had sales of about USD 260 billion, growing on a year-to-year basis by nine percent. Among the most advanced IC products are microprocessors, which control everything from computers to cellular phones and digital microwave ovens. ICs have consistently migrated to smaller feature sizes over the years resulting in a continuous improvement in performance, density and cost per function. Increasingly, these enhancements will depend on the availability of new materials and structures even as the critical dimensions of the features continue to shrink.