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News from Asia-Pacific

Mimos to Widen Scope of Fab

Government-funded research and development institute, Mimos, is expanding the scope of its homegrown fab from a pure foundry play to an integrated design and manufacturing operation.

"The move will help develop the local electronics industry by making available chip design, fabrication, testing and failure analysis services," said Mimos president and CEO, Tengku Azzman Shariffadeen.

The completion of the RM453 million (US$119 million) wafer fabrication facility, Fab 2, in August this year was the final link in the design and manufacturing center. An estimated RM1 billion of government funds was ploughed into its set up, which also included a RM200 million investment in Fab 1, an R&D unit.

The center will allow Mimos to share its expertise in process technology, clean room design and construction, and equipment selection with interested parties, Azzman said.

Commercial Production

With the completion of the design and manufacturing center, Mimos is now able bring its locally developed 16-bit Reduced Instruction Set Computing (RISC) embedded chip, Pesona, into commercial production.

"Pesona is only one of a number of IP cores that we have developed, and we will continue to develop others," said Azzman. "Using these cores as modules, we would be able to offer a wide range of products with different features. By this means we can offer competitive chip solutions through the ASIC route." He added that the new center will initially concentrate on producing digital logic ASICs before venturing into the manufacture of analog and mixed-signal ASICs in 2005.

"Fab 2 is the first Malaysian-owned plant to produce Pesona in eight-inch diameter wafers," he said. Pesona will go into commercial production by the first quarter of 2003. Available in 4-, 8-, 16- and 32-bit versions, it will be used in embedded applications where it is likely to have a greater market potential.

"The chip is suitable for remote monitoring, industrial robotics, home appliances, home security, switching equipment, digital set-top boxes and other control units," said Azzman.

Other IC products from Mimos include microcontrollers, encryption processor, discreet logic ICs and ASICs. It also provides integrated chip designs to companies.

by Anita Devasahayam

(December 2002 Issue, Nikkei Electronics Asia)





Copyright (c) 1996-2002, Nikkei Business Publications Asia Ltd,
Nikkei Business Publications, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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