Fujitsu to spend $820M on chip R&D

Fujitsu Ltd. plans to spend approximately US$820 million building a semiconductor research center and combined test production line in Tokyo, the company said last week.

The new center, to be built at the company's Akiruno Technology Center, will focus on developing technology that will allow Fujitsu to commercially produce semiconductor chips at geometries of 0.10 micron and below.

The figure refers to the smallest gap that can be created between circuits on the surface of the chip, with 0.13 micron (a micron is a thousandth of a millimeter) regarded as state-of-the-art. The next jump in chip production technology will be to 0.11 or 0.10 micron, with 0.08 micron a further generation away. With each advance in technology, chips can be made physically smaller and with improved performance.

Fujitsu plans to begin test production of approximately 1,000 8-inch wafers using the 0.10-micron technology as early as Q3 of this year. The new facility will handle research, development, and test production.

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