Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Panasonic and Renesas to Jointly Develop Semiconductor Process Technologies

Panasonic Corp., a leading maker of consumer electronics that also operates semiconductor manufacturing fab, and Renesas, a joint-venture between Hitachi and Mitsubishi Electric, have reportedly agreed to jointly develop next-generation chip fabrication technology.

Panasonic has been one of a few Japan-based makers of semiconductors who develop chip manufacturing processes itself. Thanks to that development, the company even managed to start manufacturing of its 45nm microprocessors for Blu-ray disc players ahead of Intel Corp., the world’s No. 1 maker of central processing units. However, as semiconductor manufacturing technologies become more and more complex, developers of process technologies team up to share expenses.

According to the Nikkan Kogyo newspaper, Panasonic decided to develop its 32nm technology with Renesas, the semiconductor joint-venture between Hitachi and Mitsubishi, another large electronics conglomerates from Japan, reports Reuters news-agency.

While both Panasonic and Renesas yet have to confirm the chip development pact, it is a general trend for chip manufacturers to join forces when it comes to research and development. For example, Toshiba and NEC Electronics develop next-gen process technologies in collaboration, whereas Advanced Micro Devices, Chartered and IBM not only develop fabrication technologies, but also share production-related know-how.

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