TowerJazz to Utilize Crocus’ Magnetic Logic Unit Process Technology in Embedded SoC Applications

Crocus Technology, a leading provider of magnetically enhanced semiconductors, and TowerJazz, the global specialty foundry leader, today announced a licensing and joint promotion agreement for the use of Crocus’ Magnetic Logic Unit™ (MLU) process technology by TowerJazz in its customers’ embedded System-On-Chip (SoC) applications.

The license agreement to TowerJazz will help speed adoption of Crocus’ non-volatile memory (NVM) and magnetic sensors technologies in the fast growing magnetic markets. The NVM and sensor markets are expected to reach $2 billion each by 2016. Products manufactured by TowerJazz are expected to hit the market before the end of 2013 with a few customers that are already being engaged.

As part of the agreement, Crocus will make its MLU blocks, including magnetic sensors and secure embedded memories, available to TowerJazz customers for integration into their SoC designs. Crocus’ MLU will enable better performance with non-volatile memory (NVM) i.e. speed like DRAM. It will include unique security options that are not available in other NVMs and uniquely provide SoCs with magnetic sensor technology. Crocus and TowerJazz plan to collaborate to promote the MLU technology and related MLU blocks to their respective customers.

With support from Crocus, TowerJazz has started porting and installing the MLU technology at its Migdal Haemek manufacturing facility in Israel. In addition to manufacturing MLU-based products for SoC customers, Crocus also intends to use TowerJazz’s manufacturing capability to bring its own magnetic sensor and non-volatile memory products to market later this year.

Crocus’ MLU is a magnetic technology offering significant advantages in performance, security and cost-effectiveness over Flash memory. This makes it ideal for use in smartcards and other embedded micro-controller applications. In addition, MLU has magnetic sensor capability and is ideal for use in automotive and consumer electronics applications. While MLU requires only the addition of three to four masking layers to standard CMOS, it brings powerful benefits, including the unique ability to embed MLU based secure memories and magnetic sensors into SoCs. Crocus has developed, and is making available for customer evaluation, MLU-based field sensor blocks that replace hall effect sensors as well as embedded memories that operate at below 3 volts. This is important for low power/low voltage applications.

"Crocus and TowerJazz have been engaged for several years in bringing MLU technology based on 130nm process node to production," said Bertrand F. Cambou, executive chairman of Crocus Technology. "We are looking forward to combining Crocus’ MLU technology with such a high quality manufacturing operation. This collaboration sets the stage for bringing to market leading edge SoC products in the automotive and consumer market segments.”

“The long-standing collaboration with Crocus helps us to further expand our technology envelope and provide our customers with a more differentiated offering,” said Zmira Shternfeld-Lavie, vice president of Process Engineering R&D and general manager of Transfer, Optimization and development Process Services Business Unit (TOPS™), TowerJazz. “The newly developed non-volatile memories and magnetic sensors will significantly increase our offering for a wide-range of SoC applications.”

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