Tower builds on its image

Tower builds on its image
David Manners Tower Semiconductor, the Israeli silicon foundry, is to specialise its business on CMOS image sensors and embedded flash, according to Dr Yoav Nissan-Cohen, the company’s chief executive officer. With the development of a colour filter deposition process, the company can provide a complete turnkey image sensor manufacturing service. “At least ten companies have already used us for prototyping,” Nissan-Cohen told Electronics Weekly. At present Tower is able to make sensors with 1 million pixels but, when it gets its half micron process up and running, it will be able to make 5 million pixel sensors. Used in digital cameras, a 5 million pixel sensor delivers definition equivalent to conventional 35mm film. Tower acquired the CMOS sensor technology from US company Photobit and worked with the University of Leuven’s International Microelectronics Centre (IMEC) to develop the process. Tower is also going to focus on embedded flash applications. It has, said Nissan-Cohen, acquired from Israel company Saifun, the rights to a particularly dense flash process developed by Dr Boaz Eitan. His Alternate Metal Ground (AMG) process is used by Waferscale Integration (WSI) and licensed to National, Fairchild and ST Microelectronics.

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