LONDON #151; Fabless flash memory vendor Silicon Storage Technology Inc. (Sunnyvale, Calif.) has entered into an investment, technology licensing and foundry relationship with Nanotech Corp., a semiconductor foundry located in Changzhou, China, SST said Monday (Jan. 31).
Nanotech Corp. is best known for having obtained manufacturing process technology, 0.35- and 0.25-micron CMOS, from Intel Corp. in an arrangement that was in the making for more than a year and had been signed months before the companies made it public in July 2004.
Nanotech has now agreed to license SST's 0.25-micron self-aligned SuperFlash technology, which it can supply to its programmable logic and embedded flash customers. In addition, SST said Nanotech's fabrication facility in the Changzhou National Hi-Tech District of the People's Republic of China (PRC) would serve as a foundry for SST at the 0.25-micron production node.
"Along with Shanghai, where we have foundry and technology licensing partnerships with Grace Semiconductor, Hua Hong NEC and TSMC, Changzhou is emerging as a critical center for microelectronics in China," said Bing Yeh, president and chief executive officer of SST, in a statement.
"We have received strong interest for our SuperFlash technology from fabless semiconductor suppliers and system designers throughout China, and this new relationship with Nanotech will help broaden the availability of our embedded flash memory to meet growing demand."
As part of the agreement, SST, through a subsidiary called SST International, has purchased Series B preferred shares of Nanotech Corp., which is incorporated in Cayman Islands. Proceeds from the Series B and a new round of Series C financing are expected to be used to build an additional wafer fab in Changzhou, Jiangsu Province, China.
However, the neither the size of SST's investement in Nanotech, nor the size of the Series B round were disclosed.
SST announced a $33 million investment in the Series B round of Grace Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp., also incorporated in the Cayman Islands, in March 2004.
"SST's SuperFlash technology represents the gold standard in embedded flash memory and we are pleased to be able to provide this industry-leading technology to our customers," said James Koo, chief executive officer at Nanotech, in the same statement. "We thank SST for its participation in our Series B funding and look forward to working with the company for years to come as we serve the global market with a cost-optimized, technically robust foundry facility."