MOSIS Announces IBM's CMOS Image Sensing Technology Through MPW Service

MOSIS, a provider of low-cost prototyping and small volume production services for custom ASICs, announces availability of IBM’s image sensing technology (CIMG) through its multi-project wafer (MPW) service. This means that companies working on imaging applications for everything from camera phones to high end digital cameras can access the technology at less than one-tenth of the cost of using a dedicated wafer run. They share wafers with other designs, paying only for the proportion of each wafer that they use.

The IBM CIMG7SF process utilizes 180nm technology to produce a 4-transistor, 3.0µm reference pixel. It incorporates fully integrated colour filters and webbed microlenses for high quantum efficiency and wide viewing angles. The surface area that is sensitive to light is maximized, allowing adjacent microlenses to overlap, and photodiode technology minimizes dark current. The process uses aluminium for the last metal layer and copper wiring for the remaining metal layers. Thin back end-of-line metal stacks and good dielectric tolerance make the process suitable for most imaging requirements.

The MOSIS MPW service is based on 8-inch wafers with a reticle size of 18 x 20mm. Approximately 60 reticle copies are stepped on the wafer. Typical turn-around time from release of the design to manufacturing is less than 60 days.

MOSIS Deputy Director, Wes Hansford, comments, “The growth in demand for color imaging continues to accelerate as it becomes more affordable in an ever-widening range of consumer electronic products. This new MPW service gives imaging system designers access to affordable prototyping and low volume production, minimizing both their design risks and costs. Because they can often get evaluation samples into the hands of customers earlier using MPW, it can also shorten time-to-market, which is a crucial success factor for consumer devices.”

MOSIS is a low-cost prototyping and small-volume production service for VLSI circuit development. Since 1981, MOSIS has fabricated more than 50,000 circuit designs for commercial firms, government agencies, and research and educational institutions around the world. MOSIS provides designers with a single interface to the constantly changing technologies of the semiconductor industry. Mask generation, wafer fabrication, and device packaging are contracted to leading industry vendors.