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Silterra, ProMOS partner for advanced HV tech

Posted: 16 Jun 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:high-voltage? process technology? small-panel LCD?

Small-panel LCD driver ICs for smartphones may soon be manufactured at ProMos Technologies' 12" fabrication facilities at Taichung, Taiwan using Silterra Malaysia's advanced 0.13?m and 0.11?m HV process technology. This follows the successful completion of the two companies' first joint technology development project.

Currently in the pilot-run stage ready for customers' tapeout, the technology's facilities will be available for mass production projects starting in the last quarter of this year, allowing the two companies to get their share from the high-growth smartphone market.

According to IT research and consulting firm Gartner Inc., the smartphone market is projected to reach 450 million units this year and will double to 900 million units by 2014.Quote.

The two companies have likewise targeted the equally-important trend of expanding screen resolutions in the smartphone market, from the current, most popular half-size video graphics array (HVGA) and wide video graphics array (WVGA) screens to the wide super video graphics array (WSVGA) and high-definition (HD) screen resolutions.

The Gartner report had also indicated that both the accelerated market volume and the increasing clamor for higher screen resolutions were driving worldwide consumer demand for more advanced process nodes and larger wafer capacity.

Silterra's ISO 9001:2000 and ISO 14001-certified semiconductor wafer foundry offers major foundry-compatible CMOS logic, high-voltage and mixed-signal/RF technologies down to 0.11?m feature size, including complete, competitive wafer fabrication for fabless and IDM customers' designs. Silterra's wafer fab has a design capacity of 40,000 eight-inch wafers per month.

The publicly-listed ProMOS Technologies specializes in comprehensive memory solutions, being renowned in the global DRAM industry for its extensive experiences in 300mm fabs. The company manufactures high-performance and high-density commodity DRAM memory chips as well as pseudo- SRAM, lower power SDRAM products.

According to ProMOS chairman and president M. L. Chen, the joint technology development project marks the first step of the long-term strategic partnership between Silterra and ProMOS to leverage on each other's strengths to bring together Silterra's advanced high-voltage process technology and ProMOS's 12" production scale and advanced manufacturing capabilities available in the fast-growing smartphone market.

Chen said that in his company's efforts to diversify its business portfolio, the company has decided to engage in mobile applications, particularly smartphones, as its key market area while small-panel LCD driver ICs have been identified to be a vital smartphone component. "Silterra is one of the global leaders in foundry services for this product," Chen said. "I am very excited that, with the successful execution of technology transfer, we have reached the first major milestone in our continuous process of business diversification," he added.

For his part, Silterra Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. CEO Kamarulzaman Mohd Zin said his company "is delighted to partner with ProMOS" to bring together Silterra's award-winning advanced high-voltage process technology and ProMOS's advanced 12" capacity and manufacturing capability to the smart phone market. "This project is a significant breakthrough for Silterra as it enables us to continue to deliver new innovations and capacities to our customers to win in the market while it also gives our engineers the necessary exposure and training in advanced 12" capabilities," Zin said.

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