Wednesday, February 24, 2016

ST Opens its CIS Process on Foundry Basis

ST offers its advanced CIS process and pixels on a foundry basis, including regular MPW service to reduce development cost. ST has started to give access to its high-end CIS technologies to few customers 4 years ago. Based on this experience, ST has realized all the benefits that it can get from this business model and all the differentiators that its pixel technologies can bring to the customers. It is why ST has decided to include this foundry business in its Imaging strategy. Some of the processes are shown in the table:

MPW schedule for 2016, I guess

ST foundry services:
  • 8” and 12” wafer fabs in Europe
  • In house ┬ÁLens, color filter, 1D & 2D stitching
  • Process and yield tuning and optimization
  • Pixel architecture and design, quality and failure analysis
  • Broad technology portfolio and extensive expertize

Specialized silicon technology building blocks:
  • Small and large, rolling and global shutter sensors
  • Large range of analog and digital IPs
  • ISP, pixel, algorithmic and optics expertise


  1. I think this is good, generally speaking, for innovation.

    What I would love to see is some world class CIS manufacturer offering advanced process access via MOSIS and other 3rd party MPW integrators. ST, TSMC, Tower-Jazz-Panasonic, Samsung, etc. I believe it is also important for innovation and advancement of the image sensor technology and applications.

    BTW, Agilent (HP) got into the image sensor business after their process was offered via MOSIS, and we (JPL) discovered their best-in-class dark current.

    We just need some forward-thinking business to realize that giving back a little bit to the image sensor community could propel their future business forward, even if there is a small loss in real $ and workforce doing a semi-annual MPW run organized by a 3rd party. Perhaps IISS or Dartmouth could even help with organizing this as a service to our community.

    (I will say I greatly appreciate the generosity of companies that have helped me out over the years..and those that have offered. It would just be good to regularize this opportunity to the greater community if at all possible.)

  2. The problem I see is that they seem to continue to develop their imaging products. Are we to trust that the verification engineers office is far enough from the design engineer offices ?

  3. For sure, to promote this kind of business, ST design and ST foundry must be separated ...

    1. I'm not sure if you're overly optimistic with this regard... I think one can promote anything. It's up to ST to clarify this situation. I wouldn't simply assume that they are just to learn later the hard way that they're not...

  4. If you can't beat them, service them.

  5. Does anybody have a contact at ST to get more information about the MPW service? ST's website and contact page are very bad in this regard...


    1. You can send me a private email and I'll forward it to ST. I can't publish ST emails directly here, unless ST foundry group asks me to do so.

  6. Hello, I am in charge of developing this ST CIS foundry offer.
    I agree with you, we need to progress on some aspects and our web site is one of them.
    Nevertheless, you can contact me: and I will give you all information you need.

    Regarding the risk for our customers that we use their knowledge for your own product: I just can say that we have proven to our actual customers that we are not competitors and they can benefit of all our expertise based on 15 year of CIS development. We offer our customers more than a “classical” foundry.

    We will be present at London Image Sensors. It is a good opportunity to discuss our Premium Foundry Offer.

    1. Thank you for the introduction, and sorry for my very un-diplomatic phrasing...


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