Israeli chipmaker TowerJazz (TSEM.O) will create a joint venture with Panasonic Corp (6752.T) to manufacture Panasonic's chips for cars and digital products, a move expected to boost TowerJazz's revenue by 65 percent. Panasonic will transfer its three semiconductor factories in Japan to the joint venture, which will be held 51 percent by TowerJazz (TSEM.TA), the companies said on Friday. Panasonic, which is wrapping up a multi-billion-dollar restructuring, has committed to acquiring its products from the joint venture for at least five years.
"From day one this joint venture, of which we are the majority shareholder, will provide us with $400 million of annual profitable revenue," TowerJazz Chief Executive Russell Ellwanger told Reuters. "On top of that there is substantial added capacity available in those manufacturing facilities beyond the agreement with Panasonic."
TowerJazz and Silicon Works Co., Ltd., a leading Korean fabless company, announced today a power management integrated circuit (PMIC) with an embedded LED driver IC was developed utilizing TowerJazz’s 0.18um Bipolar-CMOS-DMOS (BCD) process. TowerJazz’s unique 0.18um BCD process variant with isolated drain fills a void in the current foundry BCD market space and opens the door for fabless/fablite companies to capture markets not previously available. The isolation scheme allowed Silicon Works to implement an LED driver IC, traditional PMIC and negative charge pump in one chip to form a ‘one chip solution.’ This disruptive approach allows Silicon Works to improve performance while providing PCB board space and pricing reductions.
TowerJazz is one of the very few foundries offering the technology which enables this one chip solution and serves as a distinct advantage.
TowerJazz has signed a memorandum of understanding to provide access to its foundry through the Shanghai IC Technology & Industry Promotion Center (Shanghai ICC), a non-profit group formed by the Chinese government to help grow China's emerging IC companies. Shanghai ICC, approved by China's ministry of science and technology, provides EDA and testing services to local companies and organizes multiproject wafer runs. Through the partnership Shanghai ICC's customers will be supported in the use of Tower's mixed-signal CMOS and power technologies, thereby increasing TowerJazz sales in China.
The global specialty foundry TowerJazz was chosen to provide the sensor for the upgrade of the Inner Tracking System (ITS) of the ALICE experiment at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, Switzerland.
The Solar Orbiter mission—a joint effort between NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA)—aims to track space weather events like coronal mass ejections (CMEs). Such events can affect electromagnetic (EM) fields on earth, disrupting power lines, satellite communications, and even cell-phone service. Monitoring of the occurrences is possible thanks to large-format complementary-metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) imager engineering units. Those units are part of the Solar Orbiter Heliospheric Imager (Solo HI) optical telescope. The imager comprises a CMOS image sensor (CIS), which was built using TowerJazz’s customized 0.18-μm CMOS technology.
“In our CMOS Image Sensor business unit, we continued to see growth from our leading European customers for high-resolution, high frame rate, global shutter products. This is a highly competitive field, however, most of the competition is not between us and other foundry providers, but rather between our customers. There are many growth, as well as new, applications for industrial cameras, such as traffic control, 3D copiers and border control that contribute to our overall market growth. The continuous move from CCD to CMOS in the industrial sensor market also contributes to the growth of this area of our business.”
Forza Silicon Corporation, a fabless mixed-signal semiconductor company, and TowerJazz announced at the TowerJazz 8th annual U.S. Technical Global Symposium, their continued strategic partnership to design and produce mixed-signal and image sensor chips utilizing TowerJazz’s process and design technology capabilities. The announcement highlights an existing 11-year relationship between the two companies, during which Forza Silicon has successfully completed several developments employing TowerJazz’s processes.
TowerJazz and DMB Technology (DMBT), a leader of total power management solutions based on innovative analog/mixed-signal power management integrated circuits, announced volume production and shipping of DMBT’s AC direct LED (light-emitting diode) driver IC using TowerJazz’s groundbreaking 700V BCD (Bipolar-CMOS-DMOS) power management process. AC direct LED driver ICs replace AC-DC converters or SMPS (switched-mode power supply) and controls power without the use of large capacitors and inductors over a range of AC input voltages. This enables a constant current IC for supplying current to a load regardless of input voltage variation.
TowerJazz (Nasdaq: TSEM), the global specialty foundry leader today announced its long term customer, ON Semiconductor (Nasdaq: ONNN), an innovator in energy efficient electronics, has recognized the foundry as its top foundry supplier for the first half of 2013. The criteria behind this award included both manufacturing excellence and customer service parameters. This latest recognition comes on the heels of four other recently announced awards for TowerJazz from leading customers and an industry analyst firm.
In this podcast, Dr. Marco Racanelli, Sr. VP and GM of RF/High Performance Analog and Power Business Groups at TowerJazz talks about the current state of the industry from his perspective for Power Systems Design. In the discussion he talks about industry trends and the challenges facing the design community, and the technologies TowerJazz is working on to address power and performance issues. TowerJazz offers specialty CMOS as well as digital CMOS process technologies with geometries ranging from 1.0- to 0.13-micron.
Global silicon chip manufacturer TowerJazz not only produces high-memory radio frequency identification chips used by the aerospace industry, but it is now employing Wi-Fi-based RFID technology at one of its own fabrication facilities to track work in progress. The solution, deployed at TowerJazz's fabrication plant in Newport Beach, Calif., consists of AeroScout's battery-powered Wi-Fi tags, exciters to better pinpoint a tag's location, and software to determine at which workstation or on what rack wafers are located during the manufacturing process, based on read events, and to then share that information with the company's dispatch-management system. The system is being installed in various phases, with the first phase (identifying manufacturing station locations) installed in 2011 and a second phase (identifying racks on which carriers filled with wafers are temporarily parked) in late 2012. Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are now being installed to indicate visually when a batch of wafers has arrived at a specific workstation.
TowerJazz and Crocus Technology, a leading provider of magnetically enhanced semiconductors, today announced a major breakthrough in a disruptive magnetic technology that has been co-developed with Crocus Technology. The technology now offers SRAM performance in terms of speed and power with Non-Volatile Memory (NVM) capabilities. This MRAM solution has demonstrated best-in-class performance and more than two billion cycles of program/erase were demonstrated on a 4M bit NVM product. The first market to be addressed is Battery Backed SRAM (BB-SRAM). Crocus' product provides the best characteristics of current BB-SRAM offerings -- fast access times, low power and unlimited write cycles -- without the need for cost, recharging and long-term disposal of a Lithium battery.
Jeremy Rifkin, a well-known American Economist and bestselling author, has observed that great economic revolutions happen when two disruptive phenomena occur together. The two phenomena that are driving the third industrial revolution are Internet communication and renewable energy1. The Internet grows in value as more users join this global network. Similarly, renewable energies: solar, water, bio and wind are also likely to scale up with the number of consumers and, unlike fossil fuels, don't get exhausted if more people enter the system. The scalability of these two phenomena is expected to create a powerful, sustained and synergistic driving force for the economic revolution in the current century. While the Internet is expanding ever rapidly into every corner of the world, the transition from traditional fossil-based energy to renewable energy is falling behind miserably. Given that fossil fuel production may not expand in the future, the demand for energy to feed economic growth is likely to outpace the supply of affordable energy, arresting the potential for achieving sustainable global economic growth.
Sooner or later, the transition from fossil-based energy sources to renewables will happen, shaped by economic, technological and various geo-political factors. But during this slow transition, we will experience a few powerful megatrends that will not only transform the semiconductor ecosystem, but also our everyday lives. Indeed, some of these megatrends are not new and have been developing in isolation for some time; but when combined together, these megatrends will propel the semiconductor industry in new directions beyond those seen in the past five decades. These megatrends will also create new winners and losers in the semiconductor industry. We identify three such megatrends simply as: (1) Green Everything, (2) Wireless Everywhere and (3) Smart Everything. These megatrends will require semiconductor technologies along the "More-than-Moore" axis to play a more central role, complementing the conventional digital technologies governed by Moore's Law.link to full article
TowerJazz announced it will be the wafer manufacturer for infrared sensing and camera devices using its proven specialty process technologies. In addition to traditional infrared applications, TowerJazz will facilitate expansion into other consumer markets such as gaming, personal security, and application driven platforms, market segments which are already well served by the company. The advanced CMOS-based process at TowerJazz's US location is a viable, commercially sustainable foundry offering to support its commercial as well as its aerospace and defense customers.
CMOSIS and TowerJazz have announced the ramp to volume production for CMOSIS' 12-megapixel CMV12000. The off-the-shelf CMV12000 is manufactured in TowerJazz's Fab-2 in Migdal Haemek, Israel using its advanced 0.18µm specialty CIS process (TS18IS).
The sensor's excellent performance is based on CMOSIS' collaboration and co-development with TowerJazz's R&D experts. The chip features 5.5x5.5 µm pixels laid out in a high-resolution 4096 x 3072 matrix covering superHD (4k) resolution in an APS-C optical format. It offers high sensitivity and low noise, global shutter and a frame rate of 150 fps providing best in-class performance serving various markets such as industrial inspection, broadcasting, motion analysis and others.
TowerJazz and Cavendish Kinetics today announced their collaboration to bring MEMS tunable RF solutions to the consumer mobile wireless market. The process technology combines the Cavendish NanoMech™ MEMS technology with the TowerJazz power CMOS process and custom RF interconnect in a single chip solution.
Designed specifically for radio frequency (RF) applications, the Cavendish NanoMech™ MEMS technology has passed rigorous reliability testing and enables products boasting advantages in size and performance compared to other technologies. NanoMech™ MEMS technology can be combined with other TowerJazz technologies such as SOI CMOS, SiGe BiCMOS and Through-Silicon Vias (TSVs) to service a wide variety of emerging applications.
A device with on-resistance of 17 ohm-mm2 at 750V is claimed by TowerJazz to cut die size in half over the company's previous technology for drivers in the LED lighting segment.
The 700V process requires only 16 masking layers for a two-layer metal process. By not adding masking layers, on-resistance and die size can be reduced significantly. The technology also includes a level-shifting device that makes it ideal for gate drivers of IGBTs and discrete power MOSFETs.
Crocus Technology, a leading provider of magnetically enhanced semiconductors, and TowerJazz, the global specialty foundry leader, today announced a licensing and joint promotion agreement for the use of Crocus' Magnetic Logic Unit™ (MLU) process technology by TowerJazz in its customers' embedded System-On-Chip (SoC) applications.
The NVM and sensor markets are expected to reach $2 billion each by 2016. Products manufactured by TowerJazz are expected to hit the market before the end of 2013 with a few customers that are already being engaged.
About every five years or so, a new and hot market emerges in the specialty foundry business that resembles a frenetic gold rush.
The last big gold rush occurred around 2008, when more than a dozen foundries jumped into the bipolar-CMOS-DMOS (BCD) market to capitalize on the booming power-management sector. Now, the next gold rush is centering on an emerging technology-the radio frequency (RF) silicon-on-insulator (SOI) market.
Today, IBM, STMicroelectronics and TowerJazz offer RF SOI foundry processes for the merchant market. Foundries are jumping on the RF SOI bandwagon amid a boom for select parts, particularly within the RF front-end for the latest smartphones and tablets. Typically, the RF front-end consists of power amplifiers (PAs), RF switches, tunable capacitors and filters. Generally, the PA and switch are based on gallium arsenide (GaAs), while the tunable capacitors and filters use various technologies.
Apple to drive SOI?
The fact that Apple and other OEMs have adopted SOS and RF SOI for the RF switch has given the technology some credence. It also has caused a stampede of foundry players looking to enter the RF SOI sweepstakes.
Now, with help from the foundries, RF chipmakers are looking to displace SOS-based switches with traditional and less-expensive RF SOI technology. "RF switches are typically based on GaAs pHEMT, SOS and SOI, with SOI gaining more and more market share away from the other and more expensive technologies," said Marco Racanelli, senior vice president and general manager at TowerJazz.
Besides the RF switch, the next big market for RF SOI and SOS could be the PA, with Apple emerging as the possible driving force.
"For the PA, SiGe BiCMOS has strong market share in WiFi, while GaAs HBT has strong market share in cellular. RF CMOS is relegated to the very low-end 2G/2.5G cellular space," TowerJazz' Racanelli said. "SOI for the PA is only in R&D and may not deliver the best performance by itself. But combined with switches and other functions, (SOI-based PAs) could become relevant as new architectures are adopted. Our view is that SiGe has the best tradeoff in performance. The cost structure is closer to CMOS/SOI. SiGe is likely to gain more ground in the future."
Newport Beach-based TowerJazz, the semiconductor foundry operator, has tied with analog component maker Avago, the two said this morning.
According to the two companies, they are in an expanded, strategic collaboration where Avago's next generation products will use TowerJazz's SiGe BiCMOS technology platform.
Financial details of the partnership were not disclosed. Avago is already using TowerJazz for its existing, 10Gbps small form factor pluggable optical transceivers (SFPs).
IC Insights recently reported that the process technology gap between the "big four" and the rest of the pure play foundry industry has widened, and that TowerJazz was one of the few of "the rest" that will manufacture ICs at 90nm or below in 2012. In my interview with Russell Ellwanger, CEO, TowerJazz, we discussed how TowerJazz has been able to offer leading-edge process technologies without the big budgets of "the big four"; Israel's entrepreneurial culture; TowerJazz's recent expansion into Japan; and much more.
— Jodi Shelton, President, GSA
Q: TowerJazz has established innovation, and specifically technological innovation, as part of its business culture. Tell us why you believe technological innovation is the engine for a business' growth and competitive edge. What technological innovations at TowerJazz are allowing your customers to drive innovation in their designs?
A: If innovation is simply restricted to technological innovation, it is insufficient. Innovation has to drive through all activities, through all levels of the company, and then technological innovation can really take root. You have to be very creative, very willing to change most aspects of a company and especially business models, and if you can do that, then technological innovation becomes real. The way that we as a foundry drive innovation in the company is by aligning business units to areas that we think we can add value to. We do this by being able to manufacture nodes that are not very high cost of capital and then, by innovating within the silicon, we can bring out solutions that are of value to our customers. In this way we manage to attract and become partners with customers that are leaders within their field.
ur innovation, then, is really driven to build trust with a customer company and allow them to open up to us on their multi-generation road map. We can then work on solutions from a processing standpoint on platform development that gives them advantage on time to market. By working with us in this way, at the time that the next generation platform is required, the intellectual property (IP) blocks are already proven within our flow. This is how we focus on innovation. There are really two major blocks: first, trying to identify those areas where we believe that there is still a lot of room to have innovation within the silicon, and not by pure technological nodal shrinkage, and then by developing and bringing in the technical talent to drive innovation in those areas. We align with our lead customers in specific areas in order to know what their roadmap requirements are and, before the need arises, to have the building blocks available.link to full article
TowerJazz, the global specialty foundry leader, specializes in manufacturing analog integrated circuits for more than 300 customers worldwide in growing markets such as automotive, medical, industrial, consumer and aerospace and defense, among others. more information