One of the primary movers and shakers of advanced process technologies is none other than Intel.  The company spends more money then most of the other companies out there combined.  Even the mighty IBM does not push as much cash towards advanced process nodes, nor do they have as much fab space as Intel.  It used to be that most semiconductor companies that ran fabs would develop their own process, or license one from another manufacturer.  But as the nodes have shrunk, the financial burden of pursuing these advanced processes have proven to be too much for most companies.  Years back we saw AMD work with Motorola on their 180 nm copper process, but now we are starting to see much larger coops.

Toshiba just announced that it will be joining IBM, AMD, Samsung, Chartered, Infineon, and Freescale in developing an advanced 32 nm process.  In the latest analyst’s meeting AMD has claimed to have successfully processed SRAM wafers using this 32 nm process, but it will not be available for mass production parts such as Phenom, Cell, or Freescale DSPs for several years yet.  Intel has only just started shipping 45 nm parts, and AMD is expected to start 45 nm shipments in Fall of 2008.  We will likely see more companies joining in process colaborations throughout the next few years, as the cost of entry to advanced nodes is now exponentially higher than even just 7 years ago.

Toshiba to join IBM, others on Chip Development