NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. --- Jazz Semiconductor Inc. and Advanced Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp. of Shanghai (ASMC) have formed a silicon manufacturing venture to which Jazz plans to contribute mixed-signal and radio-frequency (RF) technologies, including bipolar CMOS (BiCMOS) and silicon-germanium (SiGe) BiCMOS process technology, sales and marketing services. In turn ASMC is slated to provide capacity at its recently completed 200-mm wafer fabrication facility in Shanghai.
Jazz Semiconductor was a specialty foundry company formed by Conexant Systems Inc., which now appears to have quickly gone to a fab-lite strategy (see May 6, 2002, story ).
The alliance provides Jazz customers with a second source of capacity for process technologies currently manufactured in its Newport Beach fabrication facility, the company said.
It was not made clear whether the venture is an independent company but Jazz indicated that ASMC would be able to make use of the processes provided by Jazz.
"ASMC's experience in manufacturing BiCMOS technology makes them an ideal partner to ensure a timely and efficient ramp of certain Jazz processes in the new facility," said Theodore Zhu, vice president of sales, strategy and business development for Jazz Semiconductor, in a statement.
Zhu continued: "One of the primary markets for SiGe products is wireless handsets, which require integration of RF functions at low power consumption and at low cost. The agreement provides Jazz customers access to RF and mixed-signal process technologies in China where the wireless market is expected to grow significantly, and provides a second sourcing alternative."
According to China has become the largest mobile communications market in the world, with more than 200 million mobile phone subscribers and more than 100 million handsets sold in 2002 alone.
"It is our longstanding policy to promote the advancement of technology and to support the localization of manufacturing. We thus welcome the establishment of this Jazz/ASMC alliance. With this strategic alliance, China has the capability to provide advanced silicon germanium, RF, and analog foundry services to RF IC manufacturers both abroad and emerging in China." a spokesman for The Ministry of Information Industry (MII) of China is reported saying in a statement from Jazz.
The wafer fab is expected to begin volume production in the fourth quarter of 2003, producing 30,000 200-mm diameter wafers per month.