STMicroelectronics, a global semiconductor provider, is partnering with Tower Semiconductor, which offers high-value analog semiconductor solutions. ST will welcome Tower to its Agrate R3 300mm fab under construction on its Agrate Brianza site in Italy.
Together, ST and Tower will join forces for an accelerated fab ramp-up — a key factor to reach a high-use level and a competitive wafer cost. ST will share the cleanroom in R3, with Tower installing its own equipment in one third of the total space.
The fab is expected to be ready for equipment installation later this year and start production in the second half of 2022.
The two companies will also share the clean room space and the facility infrastructure, investing in their respective process equipment, but working together on the acceleration of the fab qualification and subsequent ramp-up. Operations will continue to be managed by ST, with select Tower personnel seconded to ST in specific roles to support fab qualification and volume production, as well as other engineering and process roles.
“With Tower we have a great partner for analog, power, and mixed-signal volume manufacturing that will enable us to qualify and ramp up the Agrate R3 300mm fab significantly faster,” said Jean-Marc Chery, president and CEO of STMicroelectronics. “This will enable an optimal utilization of the fab almost right from the early stage of production.”
In the early stage 130, 90, and 65nm processes for smart power, analog mixed signal, and RF processes will be qualified in R3. The products in these technologies will be notably used in automotive, industrial,rf and personal electronics applications.
“The products manufactured in Agrate R3 will support the automotive, industrial, and personal electronics markets. They will contribute to ease the supply tensions in a wide range of applications in the mid to longer term,” added Chery.
To implement this project, Tower will establish a wholly-owned Italian subsidiary. It will provide details on its significant cap-ex investment schedule and amounts invested as the project progresses.
“ST is well known for its leading technology, operational excellence, and corporate integrity. We look forward to our mutual success,” said Tower CEO, Russell Ellwanger. “Tower’s strong execution in advanced 65nm, 300mm-based analog RF, power platforms, displays, and other technologies, will be significantly enhanced by this activity in Agrate — more than tripling Tower’s 300mm foundry capacity to well service our customers’ increasing demand within these fast-growing markets.”
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