But the move opens up some musical chairs for the next members of the consortium (if any)
It is also good news for IMEC in Belgium. The R&D facility will provide the brunt of the research with extra cash from NXP and its partner, TSMC.
"We’ve chosen to strengthen our cooperation with TSMC, in the area of advanced CMOS development," said Frans van Houten, NXP President and Chief Executive Officer. "This move will enable NXP to concentrate more on creating innovative, differentiating process options, such as embedded non-volatile technology in 45nm for our state of the art System-on-Chip products, while building on the process platform from TSMC. It underlines our commitment to be a leader in advanced CMOS system chips."
A leader in chips, but not necessarily in making them!
All of this is for the generation after 45nm, so there's a long time to go - we haven't really solved how we are going to approach that, and there are several different opinions.
The NXP move opens up a space in the Crolles consortium, and IBM is said to be eyeing that up. Freescale, another member, is still considering its options (which may well depend on IBM coming in!)