AT&T; signed an agreement today to share a key technology used in making advanced semiconductors.
The pact was reached under the auspices of Sematech, the Texas-based consortium designed to improve the competitiveness of the U.S. computer chip industry.
Under the agreement, American Telephone & Telegraph Co. will allow a division of Olin Corp. to make and sell a chemical used to etch electronic circuitry on chips. AT&T; says the chemical, called resist, allows chip designers to pack a greater number of circuits on chips than other technologies.
Circuitry is etched on the silicon wafers used for computer chips with light through the use of a light-sensitive chemical and a "mask," whose function is similar to that of a negative in photography.