First Foundry-Qualified OTP Memory Offering Features Silicon-proven, Design-Ready Standard Blocks for 0.35-micron Semiconductor Manufacturing
SINGAPORE - March 24, 2003 - Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing (Nasdaq:CHRT and SGX-ST:Chartered), one of the world's top three silicon foundries, and eMemory Technology Incorporated, one of Asia's most innovative embedded memory suppliers, today announced immediate availability of a one-time programmable (OTP) embedded memory solution that is silicon proven on Chartered's 0.35-micron baseline salicide logic process. The solution features standard memory configurations based on the most common 16-bit and 8-bit block sizes of eMemory's non-volatile OTP memory technology.
The development and licensing agreement has the two companies working together to lower the business barriers and reduce the technical risks of using programmable non-volatile memory (NVM) for the increasing number of data storage and retention functions required by today's converging array of communications, computing and consumer electronics. Chartered is the first top-tier foundry offering pre-qualified OTP memory blocks as a cost-effective, flexible alternative to discrete NVM components such as ROM and EPROM. This is especially relevant for high-volume chip manufacturing and is expected to be of particular interest to the fast-growing consumer and communications semiconductor markets in the Asia-Pacific region.
"The addition of eMemory's OTP solution to our product portfolio is an important part of our ongoing strategy. We're expanding our existing embedded memory manufacturing capabilities with new programmable options that leverage the proven reliability and price/performance advantages of our mature CMOS semiconductor processes," said Bruno Guilmart, senior vice president of worldwide sales and marketing at Chartered. "This provides foundry customers more cost-effective, easier-to-implement memory alternatives, and effectively targets our manufacturing solutions for a broader range of consumerized communications and computing devices."
"We're pleased that Chartered is leading the OTP effort for the pure play foundry industry," said Charles Hsu, president at eMemory. "Joint qualification efforts first targeted Chartered's 0.35-micron manufacturing technologies and our standard OTP memory blocks. The result is a competitive embedded memory solution that is cost-effective to manufacture, because it runs on Chartered's core logic process and requires only one additional masking step. It is also flexible enough to meet dynamic market requirements, because companies can modify their program coding and firmware following the manufacturing cycle."
Cost-effective, Flexible Memory Solution
Unlike discrete NVMs, eMemory's OTP memory products do not require any special semiconductor manufacturing or packaging processes, and they provide programmability for embedded memory manufactured in Chartered's standard CMOS logic processes. These offer all the same data storage and functionality of discrete NVMs with the additional benefits of higher operating performance, lower voltage operation/lower power consumption, smaller chip area and reduced manufacturing costs.
The non-exclusive agreement between Chartered and eMemory initially covers four standard block sizes (64k x 8 bits, 8k x 8 bits, 2k x 8 bits and 8k x 16 bits). These are commonly used in devices for home appliances, digital consumer products, PC peripherals, as well as industrial automation equipment. Digital applications include encryption keys for security, device ID registration for asset tracking, and in-field programming for product localization. Based on market demand, the two companies may expand their collaboration to include other non-standard blocks as well as use models for custom applications such as analog trimming and calibration, critical data storage during system authentication and diagnostic functions, and programmable wireless Bluetooth and 802.11 configurations.
Chartered's Guilmart added, "Our business engagement with eMemory provides OTP memory blocks that are off-the-shelf compatible with our baseline 0.35-micron offering. Companies now have a proven path for embedding programmable, non-volatile memory into chips manufactured on a standard logic process at Chartered. We worked closely with eMemory and library vendors to implement an integration model that delivers all the benefits of OTP technologies, while also protecting the IP of our customers."
Joint development efforts by Chartered and eMemory focused on providing their mutual customers with design-ready access to eMemory's OTP intellectual property (IP) that is pre-qualified for "drop-in" block integration and manufacturing at Chartered. The standardized block offerings operate with a 3.3v operating voltage and 6.5v programming voltage, and feature a read access time of 50 nanoseconds and data retention capability of 10 years.
eMemory's OTP blocks can also be used in conjunction with the broad range of third-party mixed-signal and analog components that are silicon-validated by Chartered for system-on-chip implementations. The standard OTP memory offering is compatible with existing Chartered 0.35-micron standard cell libraries and memory compilers available from its various library partners, and is supported by industry-leading design automation tools. Silicon characterization reports are available from both companies upon request, and an OTP design kit can be obtained from eMemory.
eMemory Technology Incorporation is a leading programmable logic device (OTP/MTP) provider. eMemory's Neobit TM (OTP/MTP) provides its customer the most cost-effective and easy-to-use embedded NVM solution. In addition to Neobit TM , eMemory also develops stand-alone NVM products using its own IP. eMemory is located in Hsinchu Science-Based Industrial Park in Taiwan. eMemory can be found at www.ememory.com.tw.
Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing, one of the world's top three silicon foundries, is forging a customized approach to outsourced semiconductor manufacturing by building lasting and collaborative partnerships with its customers. The Company provides flexible and cost-effective manufacturing solutions for customers, enabling the convergence of communications, computing and consumer markets. In Singapore, Chartered operates five fabrication facilities and has a sixth fab, which will be developed as a 300mm facility.
A company with both global presence and perspective, Chartered is traded on both the Nasdaq Stock Market (Nasdaq: CHRT) and on the Singapore Exchange (SGX-ST: CHARTERED). Chartered's 3,500 employees are based at 11 locations around the world. Information about Chartered can be found at www.charteredsemi.com.
Chartered Safe Harbor Statement under the provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995
This news release contains forward-looking statements, as defined in the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements, including without limitation, statements relating to the possible expansion of our collaboration with eMemory reflect our current views with respect to future events, and are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ materially from historical results or those anticipated. Among the factors that could cause actual results to differ materially are : changes in market outlook and trends, specifically in the foundry services, consumer, communication and computer segments; the rate of semiconductor market recovery; economic conditions in the United States as well as globally; customer demands; unforeseen delays or interruptions in our plans for our fabrication facilities; the performance level of and technology mix in our fabrication facilities; the successful implementation of our partnership, technology and supply alliances; and competition. Although we believe the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based upon reasonable assumptions, we can give no assurance that our expectations will be attained. In addition to the foregoing factors, a description of certain other risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ materially can be found in the section captioned "Risk Factors" in our Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which are based on the current view of management on future events. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.