WiSpry Innovative RF-MEMS Program Leverages Jazz Leading-Edge RF-CMOS Process Knowledge and 200mm Fabrication Facilities to Accelerate Availability of MEMS
IRVINE, Calif. and NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., Dec. 2, 2005 -- WiSpry, Inc., developer of low-cost, high-performance radio frequency micro-electro-mechanical systems (RF-MEMS) tunable components and modules for the wireless industry, and Jazz Semiconductor, an independent wafer foundry focused on specialty complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) process technologies, today announced that they have partnered to create innovative RF-MEMS offerings using Jazz's leading-edge RF-CMOS processes. The program has successfully demonstrated the feasibility of commercially manufacturing WiSpry's digitally tunable capacitor devices into Jazz Semiconductor's 200mm wafer fab and provides commercial availability of highly integrated RF-MEMS devices, built upon Jazz's leading-edge processes.
"WiSpry believes that RF-MEMS devices will be a disruptive element in the design of future RF systems," said Jeff Hilbert, president and CEO, WiSpry, Inc. "However, as with all components in the mobile domain, requirements such as price, power and performance are key. Our success in bringing this exciting technology to market depends on our ability to leverage existing semiconductor processes, permitting us to drive down cost and successively increase integration with other RF technologies. To that end, we are delighted to be able to develop this strategic relationship with Jazz, whom we view as one of the leading foundries in the RF semiconductor space. We believe this relationship places the two companies at the forefront of RF innovation."
The companies plan to integrate RF-MEMS digital capacitors and other functions into active silicon circuitry, enabling a roadmap to higher levels of integration with RF circuitry such as low noise amplifiers (LNAs), power amplifiers (PAs) and transceiver technology. Solving one of the key barriers to leveraging standard low cost RF packaging techniques, the companies are co-developing techniques for commercial wafer level sealing of RF-MEMS devices. Wafer level sealing is one of the key components necessary to provide low cost, high volume commercial RF-MEMS products.
"RF MEMS is a relatively new area for foundry semiconductor development and we are excited at the prospect of bringing this technology to market in a commercial process," said Paul Kempf, chief technology and strategy officer, Jazz Semiconductor. "Our partnership with WiSpry will help enable innovative tunable MEMS process and device technologies, complementing the range of leading edge, high volume RF technologies at Jazz. Integrated RF-MEMS enabled tunable solutions address the needs of the rapidly growing cellular handset and mobile communications markets."
About Micro Electromechanical Systems (MEMS)
MEMS use microscopic moving structures that are thousandths of an inch in size. Built using silicon chip manufacturing technologies, MEMS devices have found widespread application in airbag sensors, accelerometers, micro-optics, video projection systems and printer heads, and are now finding application in RF systems.
MEMS is an enabling technology that promises to revolutionize RF components by bringing together silicon-based micro-electronics with micro-machining technology, making possible the realization of complete systems-on-a-chip solutions. Unlike compound semiconductor devices, RF-MEMS-based devices can reduce space and cost while simultaneously achieving a combination of high isolation and low insertion loss that that is simply unachievable with conventional silicon technology. The integration of RF-MEMS devices with transceivers, power amplifiers and other active semiconductor circuits promises to open a new range of possibilities for RF devices, reducing size, cost and power consumption while increasing functionality for multimode and multi-standard transceiver designs.
WiSpry, headquartered in Irvine, Calif., designs and markets hardware components and modules to radio frequency (RF) system manufacturers of voice and data communications and acquisition products. Utilizing the Company's core competency in radio frequency micro-electro-mechanical systems (RF-MEMS) technology, WiSpry's products enable system designers to achieve the architectural innovation required for the growing diversity of mobile and fixed electronic applications and networks. Principle investors of WiSpry include Blueprint Ventures, American River Ventures, Sid R. Bass Associates, Shepherd Ventures, In-Q-Tel and Tech Coast Angels. For more information, visit http://www.WiSpry.com.
About Jazz Semiconductor
Jazz Semiconductor is an independent wafer foundry focused primarily on specialty CMOS process technologies, including High Voltage CMOS, SiGe BiCMOS and RFCMOS for the manufacture of highly integrated analog and mixed-signal semiconductor devices. Jazz's executive offices and its U.S. wafer fabrication facilities are located in Newport Beach, Calif. and its Asian engineering, manufacturing, and sales support is located in Shanghai, China. Jazz has expanded its wafer capacity in China through manufacturing partnerships with Advanced Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation and Hua Hong NEC Electronics Co., Ltd. For more information, visit http://www.jazzsemi.com.