1st Silicon partners Germany's ZMD

  • Business
  • Thursday, 20 Jan 2005


WAFER manufacturer 1st Silicon (M) Sdn Bhd is teaming up with ZMD AG of Germany to source and jointly develop advanced automotive technologies for deep sub-micron processes. 

The strategic partnership would bring together ZMD’s established expertise in automotive design, high-voltage processes and quality manufacturing with the advanced process know-how and production capabilities of 1st Silicon, the two companies said in a joint statement issued here yesterday. 

The companies said the collaboration would ultimately result in a versatile 0.18-micron process platform for automotive application. 

Dresden-based ZMD specialises in the design, manufacture and marketing of high-performance, mixed analog-digital application-specific integrated circuits and application-specific standard products with low power consumption. 

The statement said ZMD had established an excellent international reputation as a manufacturer of application-specific chip sets, memories and processors. 

The company's innovations are used in the automobile and industrial electronics industries, medical technology as well as in infrared interfaces such as in mobile phones and remote controls. 

The statement said development and production would initially be conducted at 1st Silicon’s advanced processing facilities in Kuching. 

“However, the partners plan to provide volume production in both Kuching and Dresden, Germany. 

“This second-sourcing plan offers a unique advantage in securing supply to automotive customers for complex high-voltage and mixed signal technologies,” it added. 

The statement said 1st Silicon had started to implement ZMD’s special non-volatile memory module in the production of 0.18 micron-based non-volatile products (Nvsram) for the latter. 

These products, according to ZMD chief executive officer Thilo von Selchow, are expected to enter the market in the third quarter of this year.  

1st Silicon chief executive officer Dr John Nelson said the partnership with ZMD would guide 1st Silicon into a niche market segment, which, until recently, had been covered by integrated device manufacturers. 

“We wish to become the primary source of silicon for high-voltage and mixed-signal automotive applications in the foundry market,” he added. 

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