August 10, 2006 – Israeli foundry Tower Semiconductor Ltd. said it is making a new series of 3.0-megapixel CMOS image sensors, based on its “Advanced Photo Diode” process, for Biomorphic Microsystems Corp., to be used in mobile applications including cell phones and PDAs.
The process, manufactured at Tower’s Fab 2 using 0.18-micron processes, utilize Tower’s pixel IP and Biomorphic’s optically optimized multilayer metallization, which reduces stack height from silicon to micro-lens to improve optical sensitivity.
“The race to shrink pixel and camera module sizes without degrading performance requires intensive R&D work with a foundry partner,” and Tower’s expertise in image sensors “gave us a complete solution for optimized pixel performance,” stated Bimal Mathur, SVP and CTO of Biomorphic Microsystems.
In May Tower said its directors had approved a 50% acceleration of the production ramp at Fab 2, from current output of 15,000 200mm wafers/month to 24,000 wafers/month, including “a considerable increase” in capacity for 0.13-micron process technologies. Tower said it already has secured more than $625 million in loans and long-term debt to support the expansion.