NatSemi, Taiwan Semi strike ten-year deal

You gotta have respect for Chang

The Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has licensed a clutch of its logic processes to NatSemi, it announced yesterday.

The ten-year agreement is a major coup for TSMC and for its chairman, Morris Chang. Under the terms of the deal, NatSemi will use "deep submicron" technology at its South Portland fab, to create low-powered digital and mixed signal chips

TSMC has advanced 0.10 micron process capabilities but the first stage of the deal means NatSemi will use existing 0.25 micron technologies. And TSMC will also license its copper interconnect technology to NatSemi.

Morris Chang, TSMC's chairman, effectively created the chip foundry business in Taiwan, a far sighted move which has had spin-off benefits for the island's entire IT industry.

In a statement, Chang said: "The agreement underscores TSMC's global leadership position in process technology, as it marks the first time that a foundry's advanced logic process has been licensed to an integrated device manufacturer (IDM) to be used as that company's primary deep-submicron technology." ®