1st Silicon to use US technology

  • Business
  • Friday, 25 Jul 2003


1ST SILICON (M) Sdn Bhd has obtained the license from US-based Silicon Storage Technology Inc (SST) to use the latter's 0.25 micron SuperFlash technology to manufacture embedded flash products for 1st Silicon's foundry customers. 

The embedded flash is the first of several new technology 1st Silicon will adopt to differentiate itself from peer foundries and to add value to its customers. 

A licensing agreement between 1st Silicon and SST was signed in Kuching yesterday by 1st Silicon chairman Datuk J.C. Fong and SST president and chief executive officer Bing Yeh. 

Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud witnessed the ceremony and launched 1st Silcon's new logo.  

SST, a leader in flash memory technology, has more than a dozen worldwide licensees for its SuperFlash technology. 

The licensees include IBM, Motorola, NEC, Samsung and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd. 

1st Silicon chief executive officer Dr W. John Nelson said under the licensing agreement, the two companies expected to have SST's SuperFlash technology in pilot production by next spring. 

This technology, in conjunction with its current offering of logic, mixed-mode, embedded SRAM, ROM and variety of Intellectual Property, would place 1st Silicon in a competitive position, he said. 

Dr Nelson said the company had selected SST’s SuperFlash technology for its high reliability, logic compatibility and low-cost structure. 

“These qualities are essential for our targeted markets, which include consumers, wireless applications and even some automotive applications. 

“By accessing this well-proven and highly successful technology, we can serve the manufacturing demand from our customers worldwide as well as design houses in Malaysia,” he added. 

According to Yeh, with more than one billion devices shipped based on SST's embedded flash technology by its worldwide licensees, the company has seen incredible market acceptance for its SuperFlash technology. 

He said the embedded flash technology was expected to grow further, adding that 1st Silicon had made a “smart and strategic move” by using the technology. 

Yeh said 1st Silicon was a well-established foundry having the reputation of providing cost-effective manufacturing services and a commitment to quality. 

In an earlier media briefing on 1st Silicon's Roadmap to Success, Dr Nelson said the company was actively engaging itself with 21 customers from the US, Europe, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea. 

He said 56% of 1st Silicon's customers were in Asia, 33% in Europe and 9% in the US. 

He said 1st Silicon now produced 0.25 and 0.18-micron wafers. 

Dr Nelson said the company hoped to maintain the utilisation of installed capacity at its wafer fabrication plant at between 75% and 80%. 

The plant, located in Sama Jaya Free Industrial Zone, Kuching, now produces some 11,500 wafers per month. 

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