Smaller Die Size, Improved Performance and Higher Yields Realized Through Tower's Partnership With Sycon Design
MIGDAL HAEMEK, Israel--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 9, 2004-- Tower Semiconductor Ltd. (Nasdaq:TSEM - News; TASE:TSEM) today announced the new migration of a complex high-performance, custom integrated circuit device. The device was designed by Sycon Design Inc., a member of Tower Authorized Design Center program, for Comtech AHA Corporation (CAC), a wholly owned subsidiary of Comtech Telecommunications Corp. (Nasdaq:CMTL - News). Comtech AHA's forward-error correction circuit (AHA4541) is the first Comtech AHA order manufactured using Tower's 0.18-micron process technology in its Fab 2 production facility.
Sycon optimized the design for Tower's manufacturing process technology, achieving:
- 30% die size reduction
- Improvement of more than 100% in performance
- Considerably higher product yields over previous devices manufactured by a leading foundry's 0.18-micron technology.
"We were faced with an accelerated development timetable and demanding functional requirements," said Bill Thomson, president of Comtech AHA Corporation. "The teamwork with Tower Semiconductor and Sycon Design allowed us to stay on schedule, and surpass our performance and quality targets with state-of-the-art technology and design expertise. The partnership for this migration strengthened our business relationship with Tower, which has seen more than 10 years of successful cooperation utilizing Tower's Fab 1 technologies."
The AHA4541 is designed for use in applications that require very high data rates, and has demonstrated bandwidth efficiency with stringent data reliability requirements.
"Our experienced design team has a proven track record of improving chip performance and delivering complex designs on time," said Sharon Zohar, president, chief executive officer and founder of Sycon Design. "As a Tower Authorized Design Center, we offer extensive experience with Tower's process flows and intellectual property, enabling quick, cost-effective physical design implementation with superior results."
"The first-time silicon success of the Comtech AHA demanding project, demonstrates the effectiveness of Tower's quality and reliability systems, incorporated with Tower's Authorized Design Center Program," said Doron Simon, vice president of marketing and president of Tower USA, "As a result, our customer enjoys high performance and yield, die size reduction and reduced time to market."
Comtech AHA Corporation develops and markets superior integrated circuits and intellectual property core technology for communications systems architects worldwide. CAC provides flexible, cost-effective solutions for today's growing bandwidth and reliability challenges. Located in Pullman, Wash., CAC has been setting the standard in Forward Error Correction and Lossless Data Compression technology for more than a decade and offers a variety of standard and custom hardware and IP solutions. For more information, visit www.aha.com. Comtech AHA Corporation is a wholly owned subsidiary of Comtech Telecommunications Corp. (Nasdaq:CMTL - News).
About Sycon Design
Sycon Design Inc., a Tower Semiconductor Authorized Design Center, provides proven software technology and optimization services that achieve next-generation performance with today's manufacturing processes to deliver highly optimized complex integrated circuits. Sycon Design serves customers with ultra-high density IC requirements where the need for advanced physical design tools (RTL-GDSII) is high. Sycon Design can maximize performance, optimize power consumption and produce the smallest chip area. Sycon Design is located at 385 Reed Street, Santa Clara, CA 95050. Web site: www.sycon-design.com.
About Tower Semiconductor Ltd.
Tower Semiconductor Ltd. is a pure-play independent wafer foundry established in 1993. The company manufactures integrated circuits with geometries ranging from 1.0 to 0.18 micron; it also provides complementary technical services and design support. In addition to digital CMOS process technology, Tower offers advanced non-volatile memory solutions, mixed-signal and CMOS image-sensor technologies. To provide world-class customer service, the company maintains two manufacturing facilities: Fab 1 has process technologies from 1.0 to 0.35 micron and can produce up to 16,000 150mm wafers per month. Fab 2 features 0.18-micron and below process technologies, including foundry-standard technology. When complete, Fab 2 is expected to offer full production capacity of 33,000 200mm wafers per month. The Tower Web site is located at www.towersemi.com.
Safe Harbor for Tower Semiconductor Ltd.
This press release includes forward-looking statements, which are subject to risks and uncertainties. Actual results may vary from those projected or implied by such forward-looking statements. Potential risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, risks and uncertainties associated with: (i) our ability to completely satisfy Comtech AHA Corporation's production orders in Fab 2, (ii) the completion of the equipment installation, technology transfer and ramp-up of production in Fab 2, (iii) having sufficient funds to complete the Fab 2 project, (iv) the cyclical nature of the semiconductor industry and the resulting periodic overcapacity, (v) operating our facilities at satisfactory utilization rates, (vi) our ability to capitalize on increases in demand for foundry services, (vii) meeting the conditions to receive Israeli government grants and tax benefits approved for Fab 2 and obtaining the approval of the Israeli Investment Center to extend the five-year investment period under our Fab 2 approved enterprise program and of amendments to our modified business plan, (viii) attracting additional customers, (ix) not receiving orders from our wafer partners and technology providers, (x) failing to maintain and develop our technology processes and services, (xi) competing effectively, (xii) our large amount of debt and our satisfying the covenants set forth in our amended facility agreement, (xiii) achieving acceptable device yields, product performance and delivery times and (xiv) the completion of the documentation for the Siliconix agreement. A more complete discussion of risks and uncertainties that may affect the accuracy of forward-looking statements included in this press release or which may otherwise affect our business is included under the heading "Risk Factors" in our most recent Annual Report on Form 20-F as was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Israel Securities Authority.