Tower expands collaboration with Singapore's IME

The foundry and the Institute of Microelectronics will carry out R&D on MEMS and ASICs.

Specialty foundry Tower Semiconductor Ltd. (Nasdaq: TSEM; TASE: TSEM) (which operates under the TowerJazz brand) is expanding its collaboration with Singapore's Institute of Microelectronics (IME) on breakthrough projects in micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS), packaging and application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs).

IME, an institute of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), seeks to promote R&D in MEMS and IC design with Tower and fabless companies in three-way partnerships. IME's collaboration with TowerJazz has developed inertial sensors, pressure sensors, and micromirrors with MEMS product companies. Potential future collaborations include through-silicon via (TSV) and advanced packaging, 3-D integrated chips, photonics and nanoelectronics.

The global market for MEMS devices is $8 billion a year, and growing. MEMS are used in consumer electronics, industrial, and medical devices.

Tower VP process engineering R&D Zmira Lavie said, "IME’s capabilities and experience as an 8-inch technology development site for MEMS and ASICs, combined with TowerJazz’s blend of business and technical competency for MEMS and IC fabrication, creates an advantage for our customers by reducing total project cost and time-to-market."

IME executive director Prof. Dim-Lee Kwong said, "By leveraging TowerJazz’s rich technology portfolio and specialty manufacturing excellence, IME has been able to help its partners maintain a development edge and competitive position in their respective fields. In addition, by utilizing existing high volume of Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) manufacturing processes, it permits us to drive down MEMS cost and increase integration with other CMOS-based technologies."

Tower's share price fell 2.5% on Nasdaq yesterday to $1.19, giving a market cap of $315 million, and fell 1.4% by midday on the TASE today to NIS 4.11.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on May 25, 2011

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2011

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