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Intel invests in German Silicon-Germanium plant

Hails SiGe to the tune of 25 per cent

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Intel is taking a 25 per cent stake in a German operation planning to build a $1.5 billion foundry that will be punching out Silicon-Germanium Carbon chips by 2003.

In return, Chipzilla will get access to the fab's production capacity, though it will not have any say in the running of the plant, Intel VP Mike Splinter confirmed.

Communicant Semiconductor Technologies will be utilising technology licensed from Germany's Innovations for High Performance Microelectronics research institute, which is also an investor in the plant. Intel is contributing intellectual property too: it .18 micron CMOS technology.

The plant will be build in Frankfurt an der Oder in the former Communist far east of the country, some 50 miles east of Berlin. Communicant expects to be producing wafers by Q3 2002, with full-scale production following in Q1 2003.

"This agreement enables Intel to gain access to foundry capacity for an important emerging technology," Splinter told reporters, a reference to Communicant's Silicon-Germanium Carbon process, believed to be key to the production of rugged wireless and broadband-oriented chips. ®

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