SAN JOSE, Calif. Despite a push to build new wafer fabs, flash-memory maker Spansion Inc. has expanded its foundry manufacturing agreement with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (TSMC).
Under the terms, TSMC will make on foundry basis Spansion's 90-nm MirrorBit flash-memory lines on 300-mm wafers. To help Spansion (Sunnyvale, Calif.) meet the growing demand for its MirrorBit technology, TSMC (Hinschu, Taiwan) has been producing Spansion's NOR flash-memory wafers at 110-nm processes. That deal was announced last year.
The target production ramp for 90-nm MirrorBit technology is the second half of 2007. According to the expanded agreement, TSMC will phase Spansion's 90-nm process technologies into its production lines exclusively for use in Spansion's products.
Spansion's strategy differs from NOR rival Intel Corp., which primarily uses its own fabs for flash-memory production. Intel also has a NAND flash venture with Micron Technology Inc., dubbed IM Flash Technology LLC.
Meanwhile, Spansion also has a 200-mm fab in Austin, Texas. The fab is making 90-nm MirrorBit parts, but the plant will transition to 65-nm technology in 2007. The company is also producing 110-nm parts at its JV3 facility in Aizu-Wakamatsu, Japan.
As reported, Spansion will invest about $1.2 billion in a 300-mm fab at its Aizu plant in Japan. The new SP1 wafer fab is designed to help Spansion take aim at the embedded flash memory market for data storage and program code storage. The fab is scheduled to begin operations next year, and will manufacture Spansion's MirrorBit flash memories using 65-nm process technology.
The company's 45-nm parts are planned on 300-mm wafers in mid-2008.