Ericsson Microelectronics and Chartered Semiconductor to co-develop technologies for wireless communications

Expanding a current business relationship, Ericsson Microelectronics and Chartered Semiconductor will jointly develop advanced communications technologies, bringing systems-level solutions to the marketplace. Bluetooth system-on-chip and wireless communications applications are the main target of this agreement.

Ericsson Microelectronics and Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing have announced that they will extend their manufacturing relationship by co- developing two deep-submicron technologies - radio-frequency (RF) CMOS and BiCMOS - to support the broad range of wireless communications products, including Bluetooth applications.

Each technology offers systems designer's distinct benefits: RF CMOS provides a solution for cost-sensitive applications, while BiCMOS offers total integration of high performance microelectronics for wireless systems.

Both the RF CMOS and the BiCMOS technologies developed will be based on and integrated into Chartered's advanced baseline CMOS manufacturing process. Ericsson and Chartered will jointly develop the RF CMOS processes in Chartered's facilities in Singapore and the BiCMOS processes at Ericsson's facilities in Sweden. Chartered will be the primary volume-manufacturing source for Ericsson products requiring the resulting technologies. The technologies will also be made available to other Chartered customers.

Volume production for RF CMOS process technologies is expected in the first quarter of 2001, with BiCMOS production available in the third quarter of 2001.

"Our focus is to innovate, develop technologies, and design products for wireless applications. Bluetooth is one important example," said Bo Andersson, president of Ericsson Microelectronics. "To do this we benefit from cooperation with world-class manufacturing and process experts like Chartered. Now, as a result of this relationship, our customer can thus also rely on multiple and well proven high-volume sourcing."

"This agreement reaffirms our business model of building long-term relationships that go beyond typical outsourcing arrangements," said Barry Waite, president and CEO of Chartered. "Working with Ericsson merges their expertise in the design of novel wireless systems and technologies with our own expertise in providing leading-edge communications-centric manufacturing technologies. Through collaboration with industry innovators like Ericsson, we can also provide all of our customers access to advanced systems-level technologies and services."

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Bluetooth and Wireless Communications Applications RF and system ICs for radio base station and mobile phones are the target areas for the further development and fast expansion of Ericsson Microelectronics. The Bluetooth concept is a new area with a high growth rate expected. Ericsson Microelectronics has been the first to demonstrate the concept and complete working products.

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