LONDON Tower Semiconductor Ltd. (Migdal Haemek, Israel) and its U.S. subsidiary Jazz Semiconductor Inc. (Newport Beach, Calif.) have announced an agreement signed with SVTC Technologies LLC to provide SVTC's aerospace and defense customers with access to Jazz process technologies and manufacturing facilities.
The collaboration will make possible the integration of advanced CMOS with existing RF and mixed-signal devices, enabling multiple functions on a single piece of silicon in A&D applications such as aircraft radar and communications devices, among others.
Under the agreement, elements of Jazz's MEMS-applicable CMOS process will be made available to SVTC A&D customers to facilitate the insertion of new modules into a proven CMOS flow. In addition, Jazz will make available components of its design enablement infrastructure to facilitate SVTC customers early design activity. In addition, the companies will implement a fast transfer methodology to allow Jazz customers to perform R&D at SVTC and provide SVTC customers a fast path to production at Jazz.
MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) devices are one of the fastest growing technology areas, integrating mechanical elements, sensors, actuators, and electronics on a common silicon substrate. They have proven to be a key enabling technology in A&D applications in markets such as transportation and telecommunications. According to a global forecast of the overall MEMS market by the Electronics Industry Market Research and Knowledge Network, the worldwide market for MEMS devices and production equipment was worth an estimated $5 billion in 2005, and will increase to $12.5 billion through 2010, an compound average annual growth rate (AAGR) of more than 20 percent.
"Jazz already has a very strong footprint in the aerospace and defense industry and this collaboration will enable us to bring together their advanced CMOS with our combined MEMS expertise to develop tools and processes to meet the needs of our customers' next-generation applications," said Joe Bronson, chief executive officer of SVTC, in a statement.
"This is an important step in becoming a world leader in full flow MEMS manufacturing," said Russell Ellwanger, Tower's chief executive officer, in the same statement. "I am additionally thrilled to again partner with Joe Bronson, a long time friend and mentor, and hence to grow our respective companies to the benefit of our customers."