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27 August 2014

TowerJazz qualifies additional factory to support demand for RF front-end modules

Specialty foundry TowerJazz (which has fabrication plants at Tower Semiconductor Ltd in Migdal Haemek, Israel, and at its subsidiaries Jazz Semiconductor Inc in Newport Beach, CA, USA and TowerJazz Japan Ltd) has qualified Migdal Haemek (Fab 2) capacity for radio-frequency silicon-on-insulator (RF SOI) switch and bulk CMOS controller process platforms to augment its existing factory in Newport Beach, CA and support the growing demand for RF front-end modules. The move has more than doubled the company’s total wafer capacity for these technologies while providing flexible dual sourcing capability to its customers.

To date, more than 30 products have been taped out to Migdal Haemek and initial wafer production has begun. The product pipeline remains strong and is now feeding both of these factories, says the firm. The R&D effort has also been expanded, with an R&D team established at each site to take advantage of local talent, accelerating the roadmap and ensuring that TowerJazz continues to provide a technology advantage in addition to increased supply flexibility.

TowerJazz says that its CS18 SOI technology offers the insertion loss, isolation and harmonics necessary to support current and future generations of RF products. CS18, together with its CA18 CMOS controller technology, also offers enabling features such as dense digital libraries, MIM capacitors, inductors, multiple resistors, eFuse, and process design kits (PDKs) to ensure first-time success.

Mobile Experts, a market research firm for mobile communications, forecasts that the RF front-end component market size will reach $8.9bn in 2014, then rise rapidly to over $13bn in 2018. Rapid proliferation of smartphones, along with increasing RF data paths per phone, is primarily driving this exceptional market growth. TowerJazz reckons that its RF CMOS (both bulk and SOI) and silicon germanium (SiGe) BiCMOS technologies are suited to benefitting from this global trend.

“Seemingly insatiable demand for RF silicon content in smartphones and Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled devices is fueling the demand for our RF technologies, and we are excited to meet this growing demand by opening an additional factory to this product line,” says Dr Marco Racanelli, senior VP & general manager of TowerJazz’s RF/High Performance Analog Business Group. “We continue to invest heavily in R&D efforts. Having established a second RF R&D team in Migdal Haemek allows us to provide leap-frog technology platforms in accelerated time lines,” he adds. “The qualification of an additional site for wafer production has not only doubled our manufacturing capacity, but also added regional diversity for customer assurance and business continuity planning. Two-site development and manufacturing also enables quick and seamless production ramp of the locally developed platforms.”

Tags: TowerJazz SOI RF CMOS SiGe

Visit: www.towerjazz.com

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