Hitachi, Toshiba and Renesas today agreed to jointly set up Advanced Process Semiconductor Foundry Planning Co., Ltd., a planning company for a semiconductor foundry business employing advanced fabrication processes. The company will be established in January 2006.
The companies said that due to the increasing miniaturization of semiconductor fabrication processes, enormous investment is now required to construct plants that produce system LSIs, which use cutting-edge processes. For example, construction of a semiconductor foundry using next-generation 45-nanometer process technology is said to require an investment of at least 300 billion yen.
Hitachi, Toshiba and Renesas have therefore decided to establish a company to study the feasibility of an independent semiconductor foundry business to which the partners could effectively outsource fabrication of advanced system LSI products based on 65-nm or finer process technologies. After establishment, the company will plan and evaluate the feasibility of the foundry business over a period of approximately six months. If the assessment results in the decision to launch the business, willing companies among Hitachi, Toshiba and Renesas will seek additional investors and take other steps to put in place an optimal operating framework. Alternatively, the planning company will be dissolved if the partners decide not to launch the business.