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Toshiba opens MtM foundry to EU fabs

Posted: 17 Sep 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:More-than-Moore foundry service? CMOS manufacturing? process development service?

Japanese electronics giant Toshiba has made its More-than-Moore (MtM) foundry available to fabless firms in Europe. Toshiba believes its service, which is based on access to 200-mm wafer fab capacity, is suitable for customers working on special applications, particularly in areas such as sensors, detectors and analog functions.

Toshiba has also extended CMOS manufacturing support and process development service in the region. Process nodes supported include 0.6?m, 0.35?m, 180-nm, 130-nm, 110-nm and 90-nm and standard IP options include logic and memory (SRAM, ROM, EEPROM and embedded flash EEPROM) and image sensors with a variety of pixel sizes. High voltage CMOS and DMOS process modules are also available Toshiba said.

Toshiba is also saying it can provide non-standard postprocessing options including through-silicon-vias, optical films and above-die microlenses. This extensive More-than-Moore foundry service includes wafer probing and light/dark testing in Toshiba's fab in Iwate, Japan.

Does Toshiba opening up its older fab to European fabless companies look like a fab-filling exercise?

In any case the Toshiba foundry service could make a neat complimentary service to the MEMS foundry offering from X-Fab Silicon, recently enhanced to include three-axis accelerometry and gyroscopy.

However, Toshiba is also involved in some interesting moves in NAND flash memory production. Back in July, Toshiba cut production of NAND flash memory by 30 percent due to concerns over pricing. Apparently the hope was that other makers would follow Toshiba's lead and increase prices during an undersupply situation.

That undersupply was confirmed in a statement from solid-state drive builder OCZ Technology Group announced its manufacturing had been constrained in the second fiscal quarter due to a lack of NAND chips.

But rather than hiking prices companies such as Micron stepped in tried to increase market share, reports indicate. The result is that Toshiba has reportedly now dropped the price of NAND flash memory by 20 to 25 percent. Who would be a chip manufacturer?

- Peter Clarke
??EE Times

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