Leading global semiconductor foundry United Microelectronics Corporation recenlty announced that it has entered high volume production for touch IC applications manufactured on UMC’s 0.11um eFlash process. The specialized technology, first introduced by UMC in late 2012 as the foundry industry’s first, true 12-volt aluminum back-end-of-line (BEoL) process, is developed for next generation touch controller IC and IoT applications. Compared to 0.18um, 0.11um provides smaller and faster logic devices for higher performance, while enabling the integration of higher density embedded Flash and SRAM for use in microcontrollers for touch-screen products of all sizes.
Kurt Huang, senior director of corporate marketing at UMC, said, “Touch panels have become the predominant interface used for today’s electronics. A key advantage of UMC’s touch platform solution is that we provide the 0.11um eFlash with proprietary flash macro design services to IC designers. We also offer the best cost vs. performance by incorporating an aluminum BEoL process to serve the highly competitive touch IC market. In addition, just like our 0.18um eFlash, support for true 12-volt power meets the high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) requirements needed for today’s larger touch screens and “hovering” applications used during web navigation on touch surfaces.”
UMC’s 0.11um touch IC platform delivers more than three times the SNR improvement over today’s widely used 3.3V solution, allowing IC designers to create a new generation of enhanced touch interface products. The foundry has extensive experience manufacturing touch controller ICs, with more than 30 touch customers in production at the foundry and over 40 million touch ICs shipped per month. The 0.11um process is developed on 8-inch manufacturing using the most aggressive aluminum BEoL technology, allowing touch IC designers to enjoy lower NRE and related costs to increase market competitiveness. UMC also provides in-house flash IP to speed time-to-market and facilitate customization to address evolving market trends. An ultra-low leakage (uLL) process is currently being developed to further reduce core current on devices and SRAM by up to four times.