MANHASSET, N.Y. Atmel Corp. signed an agreement with Israel-based pure-play foundry Tower Semiconductor Ltd. to develop CMOS image sensor technology and products.
In a separate announcement, Atmel (San Jose, Calif.) said it would sell its 6-in. wafer fab in Nantes, France.
Under the agreement with Tower, the companies will jointly design and develop process technology for CMOS image sensors used in consumer products, including technology modules for advanced photodiode structures. Both companies have rights to use the jointly developed technology.
Process development and fabrication activities will be carried out at Tower's Fab2 in Migdal Haemek, Israel. Atmel's engineering team in Grenoble, France, will perform circuit and pixel design and product implementation.
Tower revenue from the agreement will be from foundry wafer sales and start in 2006.
In the fab announcement, Atmel president and chief executive George Perlegos said in a statement the company was seeking to focus on more advanced technologies and reduce its cost structure.
In the first quarter of 2005, Atmel posted a net loss of $43.0 million, or 9 cents per share on sales of $419.8 million, confirming previous guidance
warning of a loss because of falling average selling prices.
The Nantes fab, owned by Atmel since 1998, handles BiCMOS, CMOS, and non-volatile technologies in line widths down to 0.5 microns and has a production capacity of 2,500 wafers per week.