Reprogrammable NVM Enables Security, Encryption, Digital Rights Management, Analog Trimming, Unique Device ID, and Provides Flexible Memory - No Additional Mask or Process Steps Required MIGDAL HAEMEK, Israel and FREMONT, Calif., Dec. 13 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/
-- Tower Semiconductor (Nasdaq: TSEM; TASE), a world-class independent wafer manufacturer, and Virage Logic Corporation (Nasdaq: VIRL), a leading provider of semiconductor intellectual property (IP) platforms, today announced the availability of Virage Logic's patented Nonvolatile Electrically Alterable (NOVeA(R)) embedded memories for production on Tower Semiconductor's 180-nanometer (nm) CMOS logic process. NOVeA is the industry's first embedded reprogrammable nonvolatile memory (NVM) to be manufactured on a standard CMOS logic process without any additional masks or process steps. Tower Semiconductor has selected and qualified NOVeA memories for its 180-nm CMOS logic process in order to help its customers meet their application requirements for cost-effective embedded NVM for security, encryption, unique device identification, analog trimming, silicon repair and flexible program store. Building on its success with Virage Logic's Area, Speed and Power (ASAP) Memory(TM) and ASAP Logic(TM) product lines, Tower Semiconductor will be offering NOVeA to their foundry customers.
"Encryption for design and application security, copy protection, Digital Rights Management and RFID all share the common requirement of small amounts of embedded reprogrammable non-volatile memory on a standard CMOS logic process," according to Joel Rosenberg, senior director of marketing for Virage Logic. "NOVeA is the only technology available today that meets all of the requirements of these applications: ultra-low power, small size, fast data access, low cost, design compiler and foundry-qualified silicon."
NOVeA addresses the requirement for embedded encryption, digital rights management and other secure applications where factory and/or remote updates may be required. This technology is more optimized for hardware encryption than external memory, electrical fuses (eFuse) or laser fuse technology in that it utilizes a single poly floating gate (Flash) technology that makes it impossible to visually identify the state of the encryption bits or data as it crosses pin boundaries inside or outside a packaged IC.
"Tower Semiconductor has recognized the need to provide low cost embedded NVM solutions to our growing base of security conscious customers," said Ishai Naveh, vice president of NVM marketing for Tower USA. "We are very pleased to expand our partnership with Virage Logic to include NOVeA. They worked closely with our development team to ensure that our requirements for embedding NVM were met and that effort ultimately resulted in a fully qualified, commercially available solution." About NOVeA
As the industry's first non-volatile, electrically alterable embedded memory solution that can be produced using a standard logic process with no additional mask or process steps, NOVeA is designed to be readily integrated into today's most advanced System-on-Chip (SoC) designs manufactured on leading-edge deep submicron processes.
NOVeA employs a patented single poly floating gate Fowler-Nordheim technology for writing. NOVeA includes a powerful controller and instruction set in an architecture that provides 100% cell redundancy. The result is an extremely reliable, high yielding embedded NVM that can be manufactured on standard CMOS logic processes with ultra-low manufacturing cost and power consumption.
NOVeA RAM can be reprogrammed in-system up to 10,000 times, has specified endurance of 10 years and is designed for integration into deep submicron SoCs. The use of NOVeA and associated development tools and views provides users with a secure design solution while reducing overall SoC mask costs, silicon costs, design risk and design time. Availability
Virage Logic's NOVeA is available for customer designs today on Tower's 180-nm CMOS logic process. Customers can request datasheets, qualification data, and additional information by visiting www.viragelogic.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 0.13 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
. About Virage Logic
Founded in 1996, Virage Logic Corporation quickly established itself as a technology and market leader in providing advanced embedded memory intellectual property (IP) for the design of complex integrated circuits. Virage Logic has evolved to become a global leader in semiconductor IP platforms comprising embedded memory, standard cells, and I/Os primarily for the consumer, communications and networking, handheld and portable, and computer and graphics markets. Virage Logic's highly differentiated product portfolio provides foundries, integrated device manufacturers (IDMs) and fabless customers with key competitive advantages including higher performance, lower power, higher density and optimal yield. The company's comprehensive quality efforts are validated in its FirstPass-Silicon Characterization lab which ensures high quality, reliable IP across a wide range of foundries and process technologies. Headquartered in Fremont, California, Virage Logic has R&D, sales and support offices worldwide. For more information, visit www.viragelogic.com
. SAFE HARBOR STATEMENT 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) market demand for 0.18 micron technology manufacturing services; (ii) timely and successful validation of relevant Virage Technology offering; 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 and in our Form F-3, as amended, as were filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Israel Securities Authority. SAFE HARBOR STATEMENT FOR VIRAGE LOGIC UNDER THE PRIVATE SECURITIES LITIGATION REFORM ACT OF 1995:
Statements made in this news release, other than statements of historical fact, are forward-looking statements, including, for example, statements relating to trends, business outlook, products, and customer relationships. Forward-looking statements are subject to a number of known and unknown risks and uncertainties, which might cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements. These risks and uncertainties include Virage Logic's ability to forecast its business, including its revenue, income and order flow outlook; Virage Logic's ability to execute on its strategy to become a provider of semiconductor IP platforms; Virage Logic's ability to continue to develop new products and maintain and develop new relationships with third-party foundries and integrated device manufacturers; adoption of Virage Logic's technologies by semiconductor companies and increases or fluctuations in the demand for their products; the company's ability to overcome the challenges associated with establishing licensing relationships with semiconductor companies; the company's ability to obtain royalty revenues from customers in addition to license fees, to receive accurate information necessary for calculating royalty revenues and to collect royalty revenues from customers; business and economic conditions generally and in the semiconductor industry in particular; competition in the market for semiconductor IP platforms; and other risks including those described in the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the period ended September 30, 2003, and in Virage Logic's other periodic reports filed with the SEC, all of which are available from Virage Logic's website (www.viragelogic.com) or from the SEC's website (www.sec.gov), and in news releases and other communications. Virage Logic disclaims any intention or duty to update any forward-looking statements made in this news release.
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