JANUARY 17--Tower Semiconductor (Migdal Haemek, Israel; www.towersemi.com), an independent wafer manufacturer, has successfully completed the installation of a pilot production line for its new 0.18-μm process technology. The completion of the new pilot line, constructed in Tower's existing fabrication facility (Fab 1), marks the achievement of another phase in Tower's Fab 2 project. The pilot line includes close to 100 semiconductor-manufacturing tools at an overall cost of approximately $130 million. The installation of the pilot line, including the transfer and development of all process steps of Tower's 0.18-μm process technology, was accomplished on schedule.
Tower began processing various test products in the pilot line to complete the transfer of its Toshiba-based Standard Logic 0.18-μm process technology and proliferate its technology portfolio. In preparation for volume production at Fab 2, the company plans to manufacture prototypes for its customers in the pilot line.
"Operating the pilot line is a major step toward the realization of the Fab 2 vision," said Yoav Nissan-Cohen, Tower's Co-CEO. "The pilot line will serve an important role in the transfer and qualification of the our 0.18-μm technology and development of Tower specialized technologies prior to the beginning of Fab 2 operations. Most important, we can now accelerate our sales activities by enabling our customers to produce prototypes for their products in the pilot line."