13 June 2011

TowerJazz assisting Tecnopolis del Sur with R&D in Argentina

Specialty foundry TowerJazz (which has two fabrication plants at Tower Semiconductor Ltd in Migdal Haemek, Israel plus one at its US subsidiary Jazz Semiconductor in Newport Beach, CA) has signed an agreement with Public and Private Consortium Tecnopolis del Sur (Tecnopolis del Sur) of Buenos Aires, Argentina to help foster research and technological development in Argentina, with the aim of enabling product competitiveness in the international market.

The terms of the agreement include training the R&D groups of Tecnopolis del Sur by TowerJazz on process design kits (PDKs) and technology, and TowerJazz will provide discounted multi-project wafer (MPW) space in its fabs. In exchange, Tecnopolis del Sur will grant TowerJazz the right to use its facilities in Bahía Blanca, helping TowerJazz enter a new region and expand its global reach into South America. The program will use the broad spectrum of technologies that TowerJazz offers, including power management, RF CMOS and silicon germanium (SiGe).

Tecnopolis del Sur promotes the economic and technological development of Argentina, mainly through design, prototyping and testing of high-added-value electronic systems, and builds on the capacities of Universidad Nacional del Sur (Argentina’s leading academic institution for IC design), INTI (National Institute of Industrial Technology), UIBB (Industrial Union of Bahía Blanca) and the infrastructure of the Trade Free Zone (TFZ) Bahía Blanca — Coronel Rosales. Tecnopolis del Sur is located in the Trade Free Zone area of Bahía Blanca and Coronel Rosales counties in the province of Buenos Aires. The location in Bahía Blanca will be built next to the airport and the location in Coronel Rosales is already located next to the seaport, providing close proximity to air and sea and easy access for product trade.

A ceremony to sign the agreement was held on 6 June at the Flags Room of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation (Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación Productiva - MINCyT) in Buenos Aires city, presided over by MINCyT Director of International Relations, Eng. Agueda Menvielle. Also present were representatives from the Israel Embassy.

MINCyT was created to incorporate science and technology for economic and social development of Argentina. This goal required a series of innovations with respect to organizational structure and financing instruments, e.g. an initial private and public investment of US$8.6m by MINCyT in Tecnopolis del Sur. The MINCyT-sponsored initiative aims to produce Argentina's first scientific park specializing in electronics.

“Tecnopolis del Sur is a platform to empower Argentine talent by enabling conception, design and prototyping of high-added-value electronic systems,” says Tecnopolis del Sur’s principal investigator Dr Pedro Julian (who was awarded the MINCyT Houssay Prize in Engineering in 2010). “We are strategically located in a Trade Free Zone with access to air and sea, offering optimal conditions to target niche electronic product markets... Tecnopolis del Sur and TowerJazz share common roots: we both base our value on specialty solutions,” he adds.

“South America is a growing market,” comments TowerJazz’s VP of sales Dani Ashkenazi. “By working with Tecnopolis del Sur and the exceptional engineers in Argentina, TowerJazz will contribute to the expansion of their ecosystem of technology development by providing the essential components of manufacturing excellence and innovation, and in turn we will greatly expand our global reach by gaining access to this important region.”

Tags: TowerJazz SiGe

Visit: www.tecnopolisdelsur.com.ar

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