18 Month Overview: Process Offerings and Design Enablement Capabilities
Guy Eristoff, TPSCo CEO
Since TPSCo’s inception, a great deal of emphasis has been placed on business interoperability between TowerJazz and TPSCo to maximize the capabilities of the companies’ six worldwide manufacturing facilities. These efforts are directed at providing our customers with enhanced technology offerings, dual-sourcing, and increased capacity. In the past 18 months, many of these efforts have already been realized and we continue to pursue other opportunities that will enable us to provide the utmost in quality and customer service.
TPSCo Technology Overview
TPSCo possesses a wide range of device technologies from 45nm to 0.5µm. Different process applications include high precision analog/mixed signal CMOS, high frequency RF/mmWave, high voltage PMIC/BMIC, CIS and CCD and advanced discrete power devices as well as customized pathfinder projects for next generation IOT applications. Additionally, TPSCo continues to assist our IDM and fab-lite customers by providing an extremely responsive process transfer service known as TOPS. All projects undertaken to date have enjoyed first time success due to rigorous process development and transfer methodologies employed by the TPSCo technology team. TPSCo is also focused on advanced analog technologies such as 65nm CIS, RF SOI and mmWave RF technology development.
CMOS Image Sensor (CIS) Offering
TPSCo has developed CIS production solutions with world leading quantum efficiencies, sub-blooming pixel charge saturation figures of merit, and dark current/white pixel performance due to our unique proprietary dual light pipe structure coupled with an ultra-deep photodiode structure. We offer 65nm CIS process solutions for pixel requirements from 1.12um to 6um and above pitch, in sensor sizes from VGA to full frame and above using 1D or 2D stitching technology. This includes full wafer 300mm sensors for X-ray applications. We are offering optimized pixel designs free of charge to qualified customers for fast sensor development. Additionally, we will offer a global shutter process with selected customer sampling in Q1 2016. Finally, we are now focusing on development of ultra-high QE sensors with a new light collecting technology. This technology will be ready for customer samples in 2017.
65nm RF SOI Technology
Another focus area for TPSCo is 65nm RF SOI where we have achieved world leading Ron x Coff performance of ~90 femtoseconds. We will release the associated 2.5V RF switch process design kit, (PDK) in Q4 2015, and have already shipped this technology for sampling by a lead customer. In Q2 2016, we plan to release a dual gate 1.2V/2.5V PDK for integrated RF front-end solutions. Additionally, we are releasing a 65nm, 77GHz mmWave RFCMOS technology PDK later this year. All PDKs come with complimentary standard cells and IPs to aid designers in fast time to tapeout
Power Management Platform
TowerJazz’s TS18PM high voltage technology has been transferred to TPSCo and will enter volume customer production in Q4 2015. The TS18PM scalable LDMOS BCD technology provides a low mask count, best in class power management process with industry leading Rdson figures of merit and a feature rich, IP rich PDK. This platform is well suited to commercial and industrial BMIC and PMIC markets, as well as automotive PMIC applications. TS18PM supports AEC-Q100 Grade 1 automotive quality and will run elevated temperature Grade 0 samples in Q3 2015. When fully qualified for commercial and industrial applications in Q4 2015, there will be seamless GDS II transfer capability between TPSCo and other TowerJazz facilities for this process family, allowing customer BCP security on a continental scale. Risk starts of TS18PM have already begun.
Historically, more than 500 million automotive products have been produced from the TPSCo fabs in the last 30 years. For our customers’ protection, the TPSCo IP security environment has been constructed on crypto and e-Money device compartmentalized security methodologies, and all our Japanese manufacturing facilities are ISO27001 & IEC15408 certified. TPSCo is actively producing significant volumes of automotive and secure products at this time.
TPSCo’s Technology Computer Aided Design
TPSCo has constructed highly accurate Technology Computer Aided Design (TCAD) decks for a wide range of process technologies. For example, TCAD decks of our 65nm 1.12um pixel CIS technology have the capability to generate three-dimensional simulation of a defined process and pixel architecture for both electrical and optical characteristics.
These simulations have been silicon verified for accuracy and have been validated in mass production of several CIS technology nodes and pixel designs. The TPSCo CIS TCAD decks can calculate not only steady state photo diode performance such as saturation characteristics, but also formulate transient analysis results of read characteristics and image lag under high frame rate operation. The CIS TCAD decks enable TPSCo to develop high quality robust imaging solutions in the shortest time possible for various customer-specified pixel sizes and figures of m
Process Design Kits (PDKs)
TPSCo’s CIS design kit contains dedicated SPICE models for pixel transistors, advanced verification runsets and pixel skeleton IPs that enable designers to develop their customized and optimized sensor designs for a specific target application. We have continued to develop several interoperable PDKs, (iPDKs) and other PDK components for multiple EDA tools. As referenced earlier, TPSCo will release the mmWave PDK supporting up to 110GHz for our 65nm RFCMOS platform with state of the art RF modeling in Q4 2015. Additionally for MOSFETs, an inductor and transmission line tool box kit will be available in Q4 2015. An upcoming advanced PDK will be released in 2016 that will be built on a tile based design concept which consists of key device elements with very accurate device modeling. It will provide designers the flexibility to select favorable components and allow designers to line them up like tiles to rapidly implement a well-optimized design.
Customer Service and Support
Since TPSCo was formed in April of 2014, a significant amount of effort has been placed on enabling customers to run their circuit designs at the three TPSCo fabs in Japan using both TowerJazz and Panasonic process flows, as well as customer transferred process flows. In order to enable compartmentalized customer access to PDKs for design purposes, a TPSCo portal that supportings 24/7 operations has been established. This portal is modeled after the TowerJazz portal, but has dual interfaces in English and Japanese for our TPSCo customers. The portal also supports customer tapeout activities online, as well as help tickets, inline WIP tracking, order and shipment reports, QA and electrical test results. All data is stored in secured servers using a web-based environment. An experienced customer support team was formed and further trained in TPSCo and TowerJazz business interoperability. In addition to the TowerJazz sales representative, local account managers and customer logistics managers have been assigned to customer accounts in order to support both IDMs and fabless companies with the highest quality of service by understanding our customers’ wants and needs.
In conclusion, over the last 18 months TPSCo has formulated multiple PDKs for our customers, transferred multiple processes from TowerJazz and third party sources, and developed a foundry ecosystem that has allowed us to enter volume third party production very quickly, with solid yield and reliability results. We are extremely pleased with all of TPSCo’s achievements thus far and look forward to the next 18 months as we continue to bring on more customers and increase our foundry production shipments.