AMD, IBM extend technology partnership

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. said Tuesday it had expanded the scope of a chip-technology partnership with IBM Corp. to include exploratory research into a range of advanced chip-related technologies through 2011.

The announcement confirms earlier speculation that AMD and IBM planned to extend their technology partnership agreement, set to expire in 2008, for a further three years.

Under the terms of the expanded agreement, AMD and IBM will collaborate on the development of new transistor, interconnect, lithography and die-to-package connection technologies. The development efforts are focused on future manufacturing processes based on 32-nanometer and 22-nanometer process technologies.

The number used to define a process technology refers to the smallest feature size that can be created on a chip. Currently, the most advanced production lines used for commercial purposes are equipped with 65-nanometer process technology.

AMD is expected to use the 32-nanometer and 22-nanometer processes to manufacture chips late in this decade and beyond, the company said in a statement. Working with IBM on exploratory research aimed at these production processes will allow AMD to identify technological challenges and to find solutions sooner, it said. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Research and development conducted by the two partners will take place at three locations: IBM’s Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, New York; the Center for Semiconductor Research at Albany Nanotech in Albany, New York; and IBM’s 300-millimeter chip plant in East Fishkill, New York.

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