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IBM Teams With Germans, Japanese

January 27, 2000

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) _ Semiconductor makers from Taiwan, the United States and Germany said Thursday they will team up to develop new technology for faster computer chips.

United Microelectronics Corp. of Taiwan is joining forces with International Business Machines Corp., Armonk, N.Y., and Germany’s Infineon Technologies to find better ways to make chips using circuitry 0.10 to 0.13 micron in width, UMC said.

``It will be impractical, if not impossible, to solve these problems as a single company,″ said Jim Kupek, head of the U.S. subsidiary of UMC.

The new circuits will be made using copper wiring _ instead of the standard aluminum _ which should make smaller, more powerful chips that can be produced more cheaply.

Kupek predicted the three companies can use the new technologies to produce $50 billion worth of semiconductors over the next five years.

Executives declined to say how much they will invest in the project.

The joint research is intended to develop the 0.13 micron technology by the end of this year, and the 0.10 micron technology by 2002, two years ahead of estimates by the Semiconductor Industry Association, Kupek said.

A team of engineers and scientists from all three companies will conduct the research at the IBM Semiconductor Research and Development Center in Fishkill, New York.

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