(October 11, 2010 – BUSINESS WIRE) — TowerJazz, global specialty foundry, and Crocus Technology, a developer of Magnetic Random Access Memory (MRAM), completed the first stage of integration of Crocus’ Thermally Assisted Switching (TAS)-based MRAM technology into TowerJazz’s 0.13-µm CMOS process. As a result of the collaboration, a special low temperature back-end process technology was developed that enables TAS MRAM memory arrays to be manufactured in TowerJazz’s core 0.13um copper back-end process flow.
MRAM’s characteristics suit various telecommunication, networking, computing and handheld applications currently using SRAM and/or flash memory technology. It is the only proven new memory technology providing non-volatility, unlimited write-endurance, high density, and high speed. MRAM is particularly suited to applications requiring high data reliability and high performance, and has the potential to be the universal embedded memory technology for systems-on-chip (SOC) devices.
To achieve this, a number of critical technological problems were solved, particularly in the areas of deep submicron lithography of magnetic tunnel junction (MTJ) stacks and materials selection for high device reliability. The newly developed technology adds only four masks to conventional CMOS manufacturing flows and is suitable for both standalone and embedded memory applications. The integration into TowerJazz’s copper-based 130nm CMOS logic process sets the stage for the market introduction of leading-edge single chip memory products and embedded MRAM IP blocks to be used in complex SOC for microcontroller, automotive, and communications applications.
The Crocus magnetic materials and device engineering experts offer experience and robust TAS MRAM technology, combined with TowerJazz’s expertise in technology development and transfer methodology, which allowed the companies to finish the first stage of joint development in record time, said Zmira Lavie, VP, process engineering R&D and GM, technology optimization process services business unit. "This program required process development and materials integration that were new to conventional CMOS manufacturing. TowerJazz’s flexibility and experience, honed over years as a specialty foundry servicing a number of custom projects, brought rapid success to the MRAM/CMOS integration. We are highly confident that Crocus’ TAS MRAM will reach mass production in a very short period of time." Dr. Bertrand Cambou, executive chairman, Crocus Technology, added that the "close cooperation between the engineering teams was fundamental to achieve working MRAM devices [that will] serve both embedded and standalone MRAM applications."
Crocus plans to sample engineering parts manufactured by TowerJazz in the near future, and to start mass production in the second half of 2011. A range of applications can take advantage of both discrete and embedded TAS MRAM, including data storage, industrial control, mobile communications, networking, and automotive.
Crocus is a developer of MRAM technology for dense, non-volatile, high-speed, scalable memories. Find Crocus at www.crocustechnology.com.
Tower Semiconductor Ltd. (NASDAQ: TSEM) (TASE: TSEM), global specialty foundry, and its fully owned U.S. subsidiary Jazz Semiconductor, operate collectively under the brand name TowerJazz, manufacturing integrated circuits (ICs) with geometries ranging from 1.0 to 0.13-µm. For more information, please visit www.towerjazz.com
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