Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Ltd. (TSE: 2330, NYSE: TSM) announced that it has qualified its 0.13-micron embedded flash process and has entered production. TSMC is the first pure-play foundry to launch production of a fully logic compatible 0.13-micron process featuring embedded flash technology.
The 0.13-micron embedded flash process employs the same split-gate flash cell as the previous generation, enabling easy migration. It is fully compatible with TSMC’s logic baseline of 0.13-micron general-purpose process (G) and low power process (LP). Such compatibility ensures that customers get the best out of their investment in libraries and silicon Intellectual Property (IP). This is particularly beneficial when a customer is interested in new product development with embedded flash function or strengthening cost performance of an existing product by having flash memory embedded.
Compatibility also signals that copper wiring comes into play for TSMC’s embedded flash process starting with this 0.13-micron node. “Technology savvy factors in our smooth introduction of copper wiring into the embedded flash process. The production launch signatures another milestone achieved in our history of non-volatile memory (NVM) technology development,” said Sam Chen, director of memory platform marketing at TSMC.
“The process’s low power transistor makes it ideal for ZigBee/Wibree devices, wireless headsets, hearing aids, SmartCards and other applications requiring ultra low power consumption ranging from 1.2V to 1.5V,” Sam added. And the value of this process can be further enhanced by TSMC’s comprehensive and cost-effective embedded flash IP testing support.”
Customers have expressed their concern over substantial costs associated with embedded flash IP testing. TSMC has tackled the issue with a “design for test (DFT)” module that maximizes the numbers of die tested in one single test. Designers can choose either Multiplexing (MUX) or a Serial scheme depending on their need for ease of implementation or low pin count.
TSMC has accumulated years of experience since its first embedded flash volume production in 1997. With more than one and half million 8-inch equivalent wafers shipment, TSMC provides the foundry’s most comprehensive end-to-end NVM offering from manufacturing, IP to backend services. The newly launched 0.13-micron embedded flash process is a foundry first and fits particularly well with wireless applications operated by single, button-size batteries.
TSMC is the world’s largest dedicated semiconductor foundry, providing the industry’s leading process technology and the foundry industry’s largest portfolio of process-proven libraries, IP, design tools and reference flows. The Company’s total managed capacity in 2006 exceeded seven million (8-inch equivalent) wafers, including capacity from two advanced 12-inch GigaFabs, four eight-inch fabs, one six-inch fab, as well as TSMC’s wholly owned subsidiaries, WaferTech and TSMC (Shanghai), and its joint venture fab, SSMC. TSMC is the first foundry to provide 65nm production capabilities. Its corporate headquarters are in Hsinchu, Taiwan.