Tower targets new $12.5b market

Tower and subsidiary Jazz Semiconductor will collaborate with SVTC Technologies on MEMS for aerospace and defense applications.

Specialty foundry Tower Semiconductor Ltd. (Nasdaq: TSEM; TASE: TSEM) and its subsidiary Jazz Semiconductor Ltd. are targeting a new $12.5 billion market. The companies have signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to collaborate with SVTC Technologies LLC. Tower and Jazz will provide CMOS processors that SVTC will integrate into radio-frequency and mixed-signal devices, enabling multiple functions on a single piece of silicon for aerospace and defense applications, such as aircraft radar and communications devices.

This is the latest of a series of agreements by Tower for the integration of its processors in medical endoscopes, energy-saving LEDs for households and industry, and for a high-performance power management specialty process technology platform.

Jazz will provide its Micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) friendly CMOS processors for SVTC customers and will also make available components of its design enablement infrastructure to facilitate SVTC customers early design activity. Jazz customers will be able to perform R&D at SVTC and provide SVTC customers a fast path to production at Jazz.

MEMS devices are one of the fastest growing technology areas, integrating mechanical elements, sensors, actuators, and electronics on a common silicon substrate. They have proven to be a key enabling technology in aerospace and defense applications in markets, such as transportation and telecommunications. A study by Electronics Industry Market Research and Knowledge Network predicts that the market for MEMS devices and production equipment will grow $12.5 billion by next year, up from $5 billion in 2005.

Tower CEO Russell Ellwanger said, "We are pleased to form this alliance with SVTC to enable their aerospace and defense customers to gain access to our US manufacturing capability for MEMS technology while offering our customers a wider breadth of development options through SVTC helping both companies gain even more traction in this strong growth market. This is an important step in becoming a world leader in full flow MEMS manufacturing. I am additionally thrilled to again partner with Joe Bronson, a long time friend and mentor, and hence to grow our respective companies to the benefit of our customers."

Tower's share closed at $1.31 on Nasdaq yesterday, giving a market cap of $209 million. The share rose 4.3% by early afternoon on the TASE today to NIS 5.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on August 20, 2009

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2009

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