Thursday, June 15, 2006

SMIC CMOS Sensor Yields

Digitimes: Recently there had been speculation that Toppan intended to withdraw its investment at TSES since production yields did not meet its standards. Toppan and SMIC established this joint-venture pact in late 2004, with Toppan holding a 70% stake and SMIC holding the remainder. The 8-inch fab has a maximum capacity of 15,000 wafers per month.

In response to speculation that Toppan Printing intended to withdraw its investment in Toppan SMIC Electronics (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. (TSES), a joint-venture with Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC), amid yield issues, SMIC stressed that TSES had already started volume production of on-chip color filters and micro lenses for image sensors.

Following volume production of 0.18-micron color-VGA CMOS image sensors in early December 2005, industry observers had commented that SMIC would not encounter any serious barriers to CMOS-image-sensor production since the foundry's 90-nanometer logic IC production process was already awaiting validation.

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