Foundry company TowerJazz has entered into an agreement with Soitec for the development of a turnkey solution for high-end backside illuminated (BSI) CMOS image sensors. With the BSI CMOS market looking set to replace the FSI technology with an expected $800 million take by 2013, the agreement will see the integration of Soitec’s substrates and new Smart Stacking technology with TowerJazz’s manufacturing process.
The agreement will enable a fast ramp-rate to a complete BSI foundry solution for TowerJazz’s customers. Backside illumination offers higher resolution, smaller pixels and higher quantum efficiency, all of which are requirements of the image sensor market. It also allows 100% fill factor of pixels, providing very high light sensitivity in high-end applications.
Coupled with Soitec’s new substrate technology, the high-volume manufacture of the sensors will be more robust as the Smart Stacking technology enables chip manufacturers to leverage wafer-to-wafer level stacking through low-stress bonding and high-precision thinning of partially or fully processed circuits.
Dr. Avi Strum, Vice President and General Manager of TowerJazz’s Specialty Business Unit, commented, “Our collaboration will result in high-performance image sensors and will allow fabless designers to create new generations of ultra-sensitive image sensors – which in turn will enable exciting new applications for cinematography, DSLR cameras, space cameras, and high-end medical cameras, among others.”