TSMC Qualifies New 0.18-Micron Embedded Flash Family

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Ltd. (NYSE:TSM) today announced that it has qualified its new 0.18-micron embedded flash (embFlash) process technology family that targets a wide range of applications. The new family includes a baseline 1.8 to 5 volt standard process, an ultra-low leakage process, and specific automotive-qualified embedded Flash IP.

"This extended featured-rich 0.18-micron embedded flash family demonstrates the emphasis that TSMC places on serving the analog, power sensitive and automotive markets. The breadth of applications that this family targets is unprecedented and reflects the growing market demand for technology that is both broad in scope, yet precise in its application," said George Liu, director, Mainstream Technology Business.

The baseline 0.18-micron 1.8V/5V embFlash process supports enhanced analog performance and traditional 5 volt I/O interface applications. The true 5 volt I/Os achieve better performance in a smaller footprint than similar 5 volt I/Os built on higher voltage devices.

The process features a single low voltage Flash IP that operates fully functions at 1.8 volts. Several Flash IP macros and a customization service are available now. The new process is ideal for large appliance motor controls on refrigerators, washing machines and air conditioners.

The TSMC 0.18-micron Ultra-Low-Leakage (uLL) embFlash process operates at 1.8V and features a 95% leakage reduction compared to the baseline process. Built upon the uLL devices, CPU, standard cell library, and SRAM can save up to 85%, 90%, and 95% standby current respectively compared to the baseline process. A low power Flash IP supports up to 80% lower standby current and 60% lower active current with the Flash IP compiler expected to be available in Q3 this year.

The uLL process is particularly suitable for power-sensitive and portable devices.

The High-Data-Retention (HDR) member of the 0.18-micron embedded flash family operates at 1.8V/3.3V and has been qualified for automotive quality requirement AEC-Q100. Extensive test methodology has also been developed to meet the stringent automotive ppm requirements in powertrain, security systems, body systems, and infotainment.

The TSMC's 0.18-micron process requires only seven mask layers to implement the embedded flash features and is now ready for production in Fab 3.

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