August 2, 2006 – Israeli foundry Tower Semiconductor Ltd. says flash memory provider SanDisk Corp. will invest in expanding Tower’s 0.13-micron logic wafer capacity, and has committed to purchasing volume production quantities of 0.13-micron wafers for the next two years, with first right of refusal on the extra capacity in 2009. Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.
SanDisk has moved “a large volume” of its controllers to 0.13-micron processes, according to Randhir Thakur, EVP of technology and worldwide operations at SanDisk. Russell Ellwanger, Tower CEO, noted that his firm has already begun manufacturing initial SanDisk products at that node, achieving “quite reasonable die yields.”
Tower’s more advanced chipmaking facility, Fab 2, currently has capacity of up to 15,000 200mm wafers/month, using 0.18-micron and below process technologies. Its Fab 1 150mm fab produces up to 16,000 wafers/month, using 0.35-1.0 micron processes.