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Cypress, Grace ink foundry partnership

Posted: 14 Dec 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Cypress Semiconductor? Grace Semiconductor? Programmable System-on-Chip? PSoC? CMOS image sensor?

Cypress Semiconductor Corp. and Grace Semiconductor Mfg Corp. announced that they have entered into a strategic foundry partnership. Under terms of the agreement, Cypress will transfer its Programmable System-on-Chip (PSoC) mixed signal array, CMOS image sensor, WirelessUSB and PC clock process technologies to Grace, and in turn receive preferential volume access to Grace's foundry capacity.

"This agreement marks our first step in the implementation of a new flexible manufacturing strategy that will enable Cypress to leverage its proprietary process technologies while achieving significant foundry capacity to support the rapid growth of our leading products," said T.J. Rodgers, president and CEO of Cypress. "In addition, we will be able to decrease the ongoing capital requirements needed to support our growth needs while maintaining a consistently high level of utilization in our own fabsmaking this a winning strategy for our customers, our shareholders and Grace."

The increase in capacity will augment output from Cypress' production facilities in Bloomington, Minnesota and Round Rock, Texas, supporting Cypress' high-volume, high-growth products used in consumer and computation devices.

Qualification of the first product is scheduled for the beginning of Q3 2006 in Grace's 8-inch facility in Shanghai. Grace will start production with the PSoC mixed-signal array on Cypress' proprietary S4 technology. Following the ramp-up at Grace, Cypress expects to increase its overall capacity by an additional 15,000 wafer starts per month by Q4 2007.

Cypress will transfer its technology using best-in-class business processes in conjunction with the deployment of manufacturing process control experts to oversee the seamless integration of Cypress's manufacturing technology and advanced process control infrastructure into Grace. This will ensure a timely and efficient transfer of technologies, methodologies and requisite skill sets, enabling Grace to fully integrate Cypress's quality, statistical process control and demand fulfillment attributes, said the press release.

"After conducting an exhaustive audit, we are confident that Grace can provide not only the product quality but also the technology capability that our customer base has come to expect from Cypress," said Shahin Sharifzadeh, EVP of Manufacturing and R&D at Cypress. "Our partnership with Grace will provide Cypress the agility and flexibility to meet our manufacturing requirements while providing world-class service to our customers in terms of lead-time and cost."

Revenue from Cypress's consumer and computation devices grew by more than 25 percent in Q3 2005 and is expected to increase again in the fourth quarter. The chips are used in a variety of applications, including MP3 players, STBs, gaming systems and computers.

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