December 20, 2007 – Israeli foundry Tower Semiconductor is finding new applications for its process technologies through a partnership with CMT Medical Technologies to develop and market flat-panel X-ray detectors for medical applications (e.g. radiography/fluoroscopy, cardiology, angiography, and mammography).
Citing data from market research firm TriMark, Tower noted there are >5000 new electronic X-ray detectors installed worldwide, with a similar number of replacement and upgrade systems. At projected prices of $35k-$80k/detector (based on dimensions), Tower projects a $500M/year market, with potential future business from medical X-ray system suppliers including Toshiba, GE, Philips, and Siemens. For such X-ray detectors, CMOS image sensor technology offers significantly better performance (speed, resolution, power consumption, and sensitivity) than current technologies, plus higher yields and system-on-chip capabilities, which translates into lower costs, Tower explained in a statement.
“Combining their [CMT’s] market knowledge and integration strength with Tower’s device and wafer level technical know how and IP portfolio, we expect to gain a leading share of this $500M plus market by 2010”, stated Tower CEO Russell Ellwanger.
Large size detectors require making up to one die per 200mm wafer,” at high yields,” Tower noted. First deliveries of the detectors are planned for 2009.