MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., and HSINCHU, Taiwan – August 20, 2001 – PIXIM Inc. and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (NYSE:TSM), today announced the development of PIXIM’s Digital Pixel System technology, an architectural breakthrough enabling low-power, highly integrated CMOS imaging system-on-chip solutions for use in digital cameras and other portable products. The new Digital Pixel System leverages PIXIM’s patented image capture and signal processing technology and the 0.18-micron CMOS Image Sensor (CIS) semiconductor manufacturing process of TSMC, the world's leading semiconductor foundry.
PIXIM, a chip startup spun out of Stanford University’s world-renowned advanced-imaging group, will use TSMC’s newest CIS process to create integrated system-on-chip solutions ideal for capturing high-quality images in portable devices, such as cellular phones, as well as higher end systems, such as digital still cameras and digital video camcorders. The Joint Development Partnership (JDP) between TSMC and PIXIM has allowed PIXIM to significantly shorten the design time for its Digital Pixel System technology, while accelerating TSMC’s development of its 0.18-micron CMOS image sensor process. This deep sub-micron technology will enable the first true system-on-chip solutions integrating the image sensor, image processing, and buffer memory, which have traditionally been separate, discrete devices in existing image acquisition systems. PIXIM plans to announce the availability of its first products early next year.
“It has been our pleasure to work with TSMC's CMOS Image Sensor organization to co-develop their advanced 0.18-micron photodiode process module,” said Bob Weinschenk, president and CEO of PIXIM. “This next-generation technology will allow development of high-quality digital image acquisition products for a wide variety of consumer and commercial applications, particularly those requiring ultra-low power, such as handheld, wireless imaging devices.”
“This is a significant development, achieved with a great team of researchers,” said Genda Hu, TSMC’s vice president of corporate marketing. “PIXIM's image sensor technology, combined with TSMC's state-of-the-art 0.18-micron CMOS image sensor process, provides an innovative breakthrough for next-generation digital image capture devices.”
TSMC offers a full range of CMOS image sensor technologies, as well as integrated color filters and microlenses. With the new 0.18 micron process module, the company is expecting to widen its lead in this fast-growing market segment.
TSMC is the world's largest dedicated semiconductor foundry, providing the industry’s leading process technology, library and IP options and other leading-edge foundry services. TSMC operates two six-inch wafer fabs and nine eight-inch wafer fabs in three countries, including its two joint ventures fabs – Vanguard and SSMC – and its North American subsidiary, WaferTech. In 2000, TSMC produced the foundry industry's first 300mm customer wafers and began constructing two dedicated 300mm fabs. TSMC's corporate headquarters are in Hsin-Chu, Taiwan. More information about TSMC is available through the World Wide Web at http://www.tsmc.com.
About PIXIM, Inc.
PIXIM is a 35-employee, venture-backed fabless semiconductor company, headquartered in Mountain View, Calif. Its patented Digital Pixel System? technology can be used to improve virtually every significant image acquisition product expected to be built in the next decade, producing superior pictures at a lower system cost than any competing architecture. The company was founded in 1999 with technology licensed from Stanford University and has raised more than $36 million in venture and private funding to date. For more information visit our website at: http://www.pixim.com. PIXI