Dongbu HiTek, SETi Create 110nm 1.3 Megapixel CMOS Image Sensor

Dongbu HiTek announced that it has completed development of a 1.3 megapixel CMOS image sensor (CIS) device at the 110nm node. Targeting major manufacturers of mobile handsets worldwide, the new CIS chip was developed in partnership with the company’s SETi subsidiary, which specializes in CIS design. Volume production is scheduled to begin as early as the first quarter of 2008.

The new 110nm CIS chip announced today represents Dongbu HiTek’s first joint product development with SETi, which became a majority-owned subsidiary in July 2007. Dongbu HiTek expects continuing collaboration with SETi to drive the sequential near-term development of proprietary 2, 3, and 5 megapixel CIS chips at the 110nm node. Moreover, SETi is expected to play a key role in expanding Dongbu HiTek’s semiconductor business beyond foundry processing into the manufacturing and sales of proprietary chips and modules.

According to Dongbu HiTek, several of its chip design and processing specialists worked closely with the SETi design team to complete the 110nm CIS development. The company confirmed that its internally developed design library was used as the database. Thanks to the combination of Dongbu HiTek’s best-in-class chip design library, high-quality process development capabilities, and SETi collaboration, the proprietary 110nm CIS chip was developed in just six months, about half the time it would typically take.

According to In-Stat’s recently published market research report, “Image Sensors 2007: CMOS is Everywhere” (#IN0703690MI), the global image sensor market saw strong growth in 2006 due primarily to the demand for camera phones, which accounted for more than three-quarters of all image sensors shipped. The report stated that CIS devices dominated CCD devices in units shipped during 2006 as it captured nearly an 80 percent share of all image sensor shipments while also making inroads into digital still cameras and camcorders, two markets traditionally dominated by CCDs. The report also confirmed that the rapidly growing digital single lens reflex (DSLR) market has been transitioning to CIS devices.

Dongbu HiTek disclosed that it has special process technologies now under development that promise to considerably reduce CIS chip size while maintaining high image quality. The company anticipates making any necessary investments that will enhance the global sales and profitability of advanced CIS chips developed in partnership with its SETi subsidiary.

In addition to specializing in proprietary CIS design and process technologies for mobile handset applications, Dongbu HiTek also specializes in Display Driver IC (DDI) technologies for a broad range of display applications. Having already internally developed a 130nm DDI design library, Dongbu HiTek is now using its own IP to complete development of a proprietary 110nm DDI design library early next year.

About Dongbu HiTek
Headquartered in Seoul, Korea, Dongbu HiTek Co., Ltd. offers advanced products and services across three major business areas: Agriculture, Materials and Semiconductor. The Semiconductor Business provides specialized proprietary chips and modules as well as foundry services that add high value to display, mobile and various analog applications. The company’s two world-class fabs currently process 200mm wafers at nodes ranging from 0.35 microns to 110 nanometers. This wafer processing is supported by comprehensive design support (IP and design libraries), prototype development/verification, and packaging/module development. The Semiconductor Business specializes in developing best-in-class CMOS Image Sensor (CIS) and Display Driver IC (DDI) chips as well as chips that incorporate either High Voltage or Flash memory functions. Dongbu HiTek’s stock is publicly traded under 000990 on the Korea Stock Exchange.