On the Way to the Internet of Things (IoT) Market

Yakov Roizin, TowerJazz Fellow

The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the world where humans, machines and environment communicate between themselves using various sensor enabled semiconductor devices. Huge amounts of data are generated and processed in the IoT world through network structures. In the semiconductor industry, this will extend the markets of mobile applications, power management and data processing, thus opening new business opportunities.

IoT demands diverse silicon chips with integrated sensors, memories, processors, energy harvesting blocks, communication means, interfaces and security systems. The majority of IoT related designs to be implemented in semiconductor foundries require high reliability, low-power and low-cost technologies.

According to IBM market research, more than 220 billion sensor enabled objects are expected in 2020. Each one billion smart phones and radios for machine-to-machine communication devices would require approximately one million 200mm SOI RF CMOS wafers.

TowerJazz started IoT related R&D activities several years ago, most of these projects in tight cooperation with customers and partners. As one of the main strategic directions, SOI technology, where the basic IoT building blocks could be integrated in one chip, was selected.

In addition, other relevant IoT chip building blocks have been developed in TowerJazz fabs. Some of them, like unique RF front-end modules, including SOI antenna switches with record values of the figure of merit (FOM), are already widely used in customer products. Low power consuming CMOS transistors and IPs, and ultra-low power, low-cost non-volatile memories were already qualified and included in the TowerJazz offering. Feasibility of other smart SOI solutions, including a series of unique sensors, energy harvesting arrays and high voltage power management devices was demonstrated, and a part of these solutions patented. Besides the standard set of semiconductor sensors (like temperature and visible light sensors), several unique solutions well suited for IoT applications (on SOI and bulk silicon) were developed.

Ultra low-power consuming non-volatile memories (NVM) are considered one of the major IoT chip distinguishers. In this field, TowerJazz has a strong record of accomplishments and an extensive patent portfolio, which includes the well-known in the industry Y-Flash and C-Flash memories, successfully implemented in mobile applications

Being the only foundry that succeeded in embedding MRAM modules (joint project with Crocus Technologies) and working to introduce one of the ReRAM ultra-low power flavors, TowerJazz is excited to provide its customers with technologies allowing fabricating intelligent chips for diverse future IoT applications

Please submit the form below to download the TowerJazz white paper on IoT.