TI, Maxim ramp 300-mm analog chips
November 08, 2010 // Mark LaPedus
Texas Instruments is ramping up analog chips in a 300-mm fab in Texas. And rival Maxim Integrated Products has recently qualified and shipped production analog product built on 300-mm wafers.
The question is whether or not a 300-mm fab is a big deal in analog. Nearly all analog chips are made in older fabs with trailing-edge processes. Maxim and TI separately claim 300-mm will give them a competitive advantage over their respective rivals.
One analyst disagrees to some extent. ''TI's 300-mm 'Death Star' Rfab is a legitimate fundamental risk, but investor fears are now overblown. TI is ramping its 300-mm 'Death Star' Rfab, the world's first such analog fab, and investor concerns about the impact on other analog players has likely reached overblown levels, over-impacting valuation multiples,'' said Craig Berger, an analyst with FBR, in a recent report.
''While we do think TI's aggressive capacity ramp could bring some lower pricing and reduced margins to high performance analog markets (thus impacting Maxim, National, Analog Devices, Intersil, ON Semi, and others), high performance analog customers generally buy chips based on performance and features, not price. We further note that Maxim is qualifying 300-mm analog parts with manufacturing partner Powerchip, which should help it respond to TI,'' he said.
Maxim is now producing 300-mm wafers using its 180-nm BCD analog process technology (S18) in Taiwan's Powerchip Technology's wafer fab through a foundry agreement. This deal was already announced.
''This achievement gives Maxim a strategic advantage in the analog market, providing a capital-efficient manufacturing model that enables quick response to changing market conditions,'' according to the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company.
''Maxim is now qualifying 300-mm analog parts with manufacturing partner Powerchip, which management suggests will lower fab unit costs by 20–30 percent, and overall unit costs by 10–15 percent,’’ Berger said in a recent note.
''Maxim’s stated objective is not to reduce end product prices, but rather to increase gross margins on high volume parts. If these parts meet quality standards, they will be treated as ‘risk’ parts that can be shipped to end customers,’’ the analyst said. ''It is conceivable that high-volume production on this fab can ramp later this year or in early 2011, thereby allowing Maxim to keep better pace with demand and match TI’s 300-mm manufacturing claims.’’
It extends Maxim's hybrid approach to wafer fab capacity, utilizing both in-house and outsourced wafer fabrication. This concept was introduced by Maxim in 2007 when the company partnered with Seiko Epson.
Sensor choices power industrial Internet innovation
May 26, 2015
Whether or not the Internet of Things will live up to its own hype, the notion has certainly got people thinking. Proposals ...
Software collaboration enables software quality compliance
Why NOW is the time to invest in security
eDP: the next rung on display control's evolutionary ladder
Daimler, Qualcomm announce strategic partnership
Researchers create first single-molecule diode
May 26, 2015
A group of researchers at Columbia Engineering claim to be the first to develop a single-molecule diode that performs 50 ...
Rohm buys Renesas wafer fab
SK Hynix, Sharp move up chip vendor ranking
IDT partners EPC to integrate GaN and silicon technologies
- Integrating GPS into consumer products
- Controlling LED Lighting Using Triacs and Quadracs
- Automotive Designs Demand Low EMI Synchronous Buck Converters
- Smart Capacitive Design Tips
InterviewCEO interview: What's next after Tower's turn-around?
May 2015 marks the tenth anniversary of Russell Ellwanger taking over as CEO of speciality foundry Tower Semiconductor Ltd. (Migdael Haemek, Israel), which now trades as TowerJazz. And so EE Times Europe ...
Filter WizardCheck out the Filter Wizard Series of articles by Filter Guru Kendall Castor-Perry which provide invaluable practical Analog Design guidelines.
Linear video channel
READER OFFERRead more
In this month's reader offer, Analog Devices is giving away five Blackfin Low-Power Imaging Platform (BLIP) Development Systems (ADZS-BF707-BLIP2), worth 199 dollars each, for EETimes Europe's readers to win.
Targeting demanding ultra-low-power, real-time applications for image sensing and advanced audio, the development platform leverages the company’s ADSP-BF707BBCZ-4 Blackfin processor as...MORE INFO AND LAST MONTH' WINNERS...
December 15, 2011 | Texas instruments | 222901974
Unique Ser/Des technology supports encrypted video and audio content with full duplex bi-directional control channel over a single wire interface.