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Customer tips Infineon's foundry market entry

Posted: 28 Dec 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Infineon Technologies? Altis Semiconductor? Toumaz Technology?

German chipmaker Infineon Technologies AG has entered the foundry market with the aid of its French affiliate Altis Semiconductor SA, according to first customer Toumaz Technology Ltd. Infineon has initially focused on specialized manufacturing processes (RF-CMOS, bipolar and silicon-germanium) and high-frequency applications.

As a starting point Infineon has offered up a 130nm CMOS RF-capable manufacturing process for the implementation of a sensor interface and transceiver, Toumaz said last week (Dec. 23).

The 130nm RF CMOS process is being run at Altis Semiconductor SA, a joint venture between Infineon and IBM Corp., although the process is expected to be replicated at another European wafer fab, providing second-source capability. Toumaz did not say whether that fab would be one belonging to Infineon or to a third party.

"Infineon offers over three decades of experience in the development, design, and manufacturing of world class communication systems. With the newly invoked foundry program we are granting external customers access to our RF-CMOS, Bipolar and SiGe process technology which have been concertedly developed with available application specific IP," said Thomas Pollakowski, VP and GM of Infineon's Connectivity business unit, in a statement issued by Toumaz. "With Toumaz we have found a partner with a very exciting application allowing Infineon to demonstrate its foundry capabilities," Pollakowski said.

Toumaz is Infineon's first fabless customer for the RF-CMOS process and is planning to tape out a prototype chip in January 2006. As part of the agreement Infineon is set to license certain IP, predominantly digital blocks and cores, to Toumaz for integration into its so-called "Sensium" devices.

Sensium is a wirelessly connected sensor interface and transceiver for applications in the medical and professional healthcare area and includes a reconfigurable sensor interface and RF transceiver block.

The Advanced Mixed Signal approach to SoC integration features sub-threshold CMOS analog signal processing coupled with digital closed-loop control for self-calibration and retuning, Toumaz said.

"Having Infineon as a foundry partner not only provides access to the best available semiconductor manufacturing technology for our applications but also offers a wealth of expertise and back-end support, thus ensuring faster times to market and lower costs for Toumaz," said Keith Errey, chief executive officer of Toumaz Technology, in the same statement.

- Peter Clarke
EE Times

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