Tuesday, March 13, 2012

TowerJazz Announced 0.11um Pixel Platform, Easy Migration from 0.18um Process

PR Newswire: TowerJazz announces its TS11IS hybrid CIS process, a combination of 0.11um and 0.16um platform. The TS11IS combines TowerJazz's 0.16um CMOS for periphery circuits and its 0.11um pushed design rules for the pixel array. The process is targeted for applications in high end photography, machine vision, 3D imaging and security sensors.

The new platform, based on Tower's 0.16um CMOS shrink process, will allow easy re-use of existing customers' 0.18um circuit IP which will save them from investing in resources to redesign existing blocks, and increase the probability for first time success. The TS11IS offers improved pixel performance, smaller pixel pitch, higher resolution, improved sensitivity, and improved angular response. It allows up to 50% reduction of pixel size, mainly for high-end global shutter pixels.

The platform includes a new local interconnect layer to allow denser metallization routing in pixels while maintaining good QE. It also includes tighter design rules for all metal layers and implant layers as well as provides a "Bathtub" option for lower stack height, improving the sensors' angular response.

"By allowing significantly smaller pixels, higher resolution and enhanced pixel performance, our new platform ideally serves our customers' needs for the professional CIS markets, allowing them to create new business opportunities, expand the span of applications accessible for their designs, and enlarge their market share," said Jonathan Gendler, Director of CIS Marketing. "We have received enthusiastic feedback from all of our customers on the opportunity to keep working with our established process environment and reuse their design block IP, while being able to shrink the pixel array and die size. This new platform not only improves the cost model of their products, but at the same time enhances device performance."

The new hybrid CIS process platform will be offered for prototyping for select customers in Q3 2012, and for production towards the end of 2012. The new process and other advances will be showcased at the Image Sensors (IS) conference in London on March 20-22, 2012.

According to Yole Development, the forecast for high-end CMOS image sensors is expected to be ~$2B in 2015 with a CAGR of 13%.

13 comments:

  1. I'm curious how seamless the transition from existing 0.18u to 0.16u periphery will be...? And what about parasitics?

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  2. How is TowerJazz able to compete with other fabs such as TSMC that have a much better process? What do they have that others do not?

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  3. flexibility for small players.
    And I wouldn't say for sure TSMC has better process than TowerJazz, at least not in 0.18um node

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  4. what about TowerJazz Japanese fab that was Micron up to last year?
    this new technology node is not so new for that fab.....

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  5. Hi all, I invite all to send me questions by email and I will be very glad to have direct discussion on our new platform as well as any other CIS related matter.
    See you in London next week!
    Jonathan Gendler
    Jonatge@towersemi.com

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    Replies
    1. Why by e-mail ? Just post the questions and the answers in this blog, so that all of us can learn and hear about the ins and outs of the Tower processes !?

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  6. @ "How is TowerJazz able to compete"

    I would guess the company has talented, hard-working employees.

    Also, it probably has loyal customers in Israeli and global companies that value local suppliers and/or globally-diverse IC sources.

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  7. Why smaller&smaller&smaller pixels?!? I don't get it...

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    1. "It allows up to 50% reduction of pixel size, mainly for high-end global shutter pixels."

      Exactly. Why do you need 50% reduction on high end global shutter pixels?

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  8. Who are producing their wafers at TowerJazz at Irvine?

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  9. Hi,

    There are several reasons why people want smaller global shutter pixels. One example: This enables fitting into an existing optical format (which could be standard for a certain application - say, machine vision) and at the same time increase resolution to enhance the performance of the vision system.

    There are other examples in the market for such demand.

    Best,
    Jonathan Gendler.

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  10. Do you support custom fab process/pixel design?

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    Replies
    1. Yes we do. In fact this is one of the points that we are most proud of. You are welcome to approach us to discuss projects and collaboration.
      Regards,
      JG.

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