| LONDON — The 130-nanometer manufacturing process technology acquired from Motorola Inc. by foundry Tower Semiconductor Ltd. (Migdal Haemek, Israel) is running in Tower's Fab2 200-mm wafer fab and Tower is working with a lead customer on design of two integrated circuits making use of the process. |
"Yes it is running in the line and we are gearing up for pre-production," Doron Simon, vice president of marketing for Tower Semiconductor and president of the foundry's U.S. subsidiary, told Silicon Strategies in an interview.
Motorola Inc.'s chip unit, now called Freescale Semiconductor Inc., licensed its 130-nm process technology to Tower several years ago but the process now looks set to yield commercial chips for Tower before the end of 2005.
Simon would not name the customer that has agreed to be the "pipe-cleaner" for Tower on 0.13-micron. "We have a design started with a key partner but the partner doesn't have silicon yet. It is an ASIC logic chip with some analog. There is a second generation product which does have some embedded non-volatile memory," Simon said.
When asked when Tower would start getting commercial return on the leading edge process Simon said: "By the end of 2005 we expect to be in commercial production, if the customer keeps up the pace of development." Simon said that when proving a process out with a lead customer a foundry is dependent on the timetable of that customer.