TSMC Announces Foundry Industry's First Available 0.35 um Embedded Flash Services

SAN JOSE, Calif.,(BUSINESS WIRE), Dec. 29, 1998- Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (NYSE:TSM), the world's largest dedicated integrated circuit (IC) foundry, today announced its 0.35 micron embedded flash (EmbFlash) process capability for integrating logic and memory on a single-chip.

TSMC is the first foundry to offer a 0.35 micron embedded flash service in commercial quantities, providing system-on-chip developers the high reliability, low overall cost, and flexibility associated with embedded flash.

"With TSMC's 0.35 micron EmbFlash process and services, designers can now take advantage of low development costs and overall system cost saving when embedding flash into single-chip designs," said Sam Chu, program manager, -NVM, TSMC. "MCU or DSP designers will also benefit from the programming flexibility EmbFlash offers in targeting specific applications with their designs."

Embedded flash can be reprogrammed in system, so that the developers can reduce development time and gain design flexibility. Small sizes -- 0.35 micron and below -- are ideal for single-chip integration, where logic, memory, and all other system components must be squeezed into a very small area. TSMC's 0.35 micron process capability provides designers with a cost-effective, highly reliable way to integrate flash onto a single chip.

New Process Redefines Performance Standards

TSMC's 0.35 micron EmbFlash process combines the company's generic logic process with a split-gate flash/EEPROM that features high reliability and smaller peripheral overhead in the flash IP block design. More than ten IP blocks (FlashIP) are currently available in 0.35 micron, providing up to 4 Mbits of memory density. Preliminary results from the new process indicate an average yield more than 90 percent.

By using a thick injection oxide, the endurance of TSMC's 0.35 micron FlashIP blocks is over 100K program/erase cycles, and data retention is guaranteed at 100 years after 10K cycles. Device reliability is much higher than the industry standard.

Low operating voltages are critical in single-chip devices, especially those used in portable systems that require low-power dissipation. TSMC's 0.35 micron EmbFlash processes allow a range of 3.3V down to 2.5 V operating voltage with 1.8V functional.

Because of its high yield, smaller memory size, and low voltage, TSMC's 0.35 micron EmbFlash process is ideal for MCU, DSP, and ASICs/ASSPs used in wireless communications, HDD, automotive and consumer products. TSMC is accepting tape-outs now. The first two customer designs at 0.35 micron were successfully functional during November of this year.

TSMC's first EmbFlash offering was at 0.5 micron in the fourth quarter of 1997. Plans include delivering a 0.25 micron embedded flash process in mid 1999, and advanced processes in the future.

About TSMC

TSMC (ADS traded NYSE: TSM, also traded on TSE) is the world's largest dedicated integrated circuit (IC) foundry and offers a comprehensive set of IC fabrication processes, including processes to manufacture CMOS logic, mixed-mode, volatile and non-volatile memory and BiCMOS chips. Currently, TSMC operates two six-inch wafer fabs (Fab 1 and 2) and three eight-inch wafer fabs (Fab 3, 4, and 5), all located in Hsin-Chu, Taiwan.

In mid-1998, TSMC announced that production wafers were being delivered from its first U.S. foundry, WaferTech, a joint venture with Altera, Analog Devices and Integrated Silicon Solutions, Inc. The company has broken ground in the new Tainan Park, which will house Fabs 6 and 7 and recently announced its participation in a $1.2 billion joint venture fab with Philips Semiconductor which is scheduled to open in Singapore in 2000.