NOVeA® Embedded NVM Enables Design Security, Digital Rights Management, Replacement of Laser Fuses, and Provides Flexible Memory for Cost-Sensitive ROM Applications - No Additional Mask or Process Steps Required
FREMONT, Calif., HSINCHU, Taiwan, and Munich, Germany, March 7, 2005 - UMC, world leading semiconductor foundry (NYSE: UMC, TAIEX: 2303) and Virage Logic Corp. (Nasdaq: VIRL), a leading provider of semiconductor IP platforms, announced the availability of Virage Logic's patented Non-Volatile Electrically Alterable (NOVeA) embedded memories for production on UMC's 0.18-micron (um) CMOS logic process. NOVeA is the industry's first commercially available embedded in system reprogrammable non-volatile memory (NVM) that is manufactured on a standard 0.18um CMOS logic process without any additional masks or process steps. UMC has completed qualification of Virage Logic's non-volatile memories for its 0.18um process in order to support customers who need cost-effective embedded NVM for security, encryption, unique device identification, analog trimming, and silicon repair.
UMC will offer NOVeA through its Gold IP catalog in which IP is categorized from Bronze to Gold according to guidelines that indicate the level of integration and experience UMC has with each IP offering. Gold ratings, which NOVeA has achieved, are the highest available and indicate the IP has been in mass production at UMC. NOVeA's Gold rating follows a longstanding partnership between the two companies whereby Virage Logic's Self-Test and Repair (STAR) Memory System&3153; and Area, Speed and Power (ASAP) Memory&3153; product lines have been offered to customers on UMC's 0.13, 0.15, and 0.18um processes. UMC now offers NOVeA to its foundry customers to embed in their System-on-Chips (SoCs). NOVeA RAM offers fast 10ns access time and 10-year data retention. Unlike traditional embedded Flash memory, NOVeA eliminates the need for additional process steps and masks, thereby reducing manufacturing costs and delivery time. Sub-micron NOVeA technology can help UMC customers reduce system size, lower power consumption and increase performance and security.
"Design and application security, copy protection, Digital Rights Management and RFID all share the common requirement of small amounts of reprogrammable embedded non-volatile memory on a standard CMOS logic process," noted Jim Ensell, vice president of marketing for Virage Logic. "NOVeA is the only technology available today that meets all of the requirements of these applications: ultra low power, small size, fast data access, low cost, compiler generated instances and foundry qualified silicon. And thanks to UMC's rigorous qualification and rating system, our mutual customers can be assured that Virage Logic IP is imminently manufacturable on UMC's processes."
"UMC and Virage Logic's unmatched support combined with Virage Logic's leadership in innovative embedded memory semiconductor IP design has enabled us to drive down not only the overall cost and size of the system, but also helped us get to market more quickly and efficiently," said Hugh Chow, vice president of engineering, ViXS Systems. "We selected the NOVeA embedded memories because enhanced security measures such as key encryption storage are critical for many of our Video Streaming applications. With NOVeA, we now have a more efficient and cost effective way to securely encrypt information, which is critical, especially in some of the emerging markets we are targeting."
"Virage Logic's NOVeA expands the portfolio of memory solutions that target our process technology," said Ken Liou, director of the IP Development and Design Support division for UMC. "We are pleased to expand our relationship with Virage Logic to include NOVeA and offer it to our customers through our Gold IP program. Virage Logic worked closely with our development team to provide a fully-qualified, commercially-available solution."
As the industry's first non-volatile, electrically alterable embedded memory solution that can be produced using a standard logic process with no additional mask or process steps, NOVeA is designed to be readily integrated into today's most advanced SoC designs manufactured on leading edge deep submicron processes. NOVeA employs a patented single poly floating gate Fowler-Nordheim technology for writing. NOVeA includes a powerful controller and instruction set in an architecture that provides 100% cell redundancy. The result is an extremely reliable, high yielding embedded NVM that can be manufactured on standard CMOS logic processes with ultra low manufacturing cost and power consumption.
NOVeA RAM can be reprogrammed in-system up to 10,000 times, has specified endurance of 10 years and is designed for integration into deep submicron SoCs. The use of NOVeA and associated development tools and views provide users with a secure design solution while reducing overall SoC mask costs, silicon costs, design risk and design time.
Availability and Pricing
Virage Logic's NOVeA is available for customer designs today on UMC's 0.18-micron CMOS logic process. Single instance pricing starts at $125,000. Customers can request datasheets, qualification data, and additional information by visiting www.viragelogic.com or www.umc.com.
UMC (NYSE: UMC, TSE: 2303) is a leading global semiconductor foundry that manufactures advanced process ICs for applications spanning every major sector of the semiconductor industry. UMC delivers cutting-edge foundry technologies that enable sophisticated system-on-chip (SOC) designs, including 90nm copper, 0.13um copper, and mixed signal/RFCMOS. UMC is also a leader in 300mm manufacturing; Fab 12A in Taiwan and Singapore-based UMCi are both in volume production for a variety of customer products. UMC employs over 10,500 people worldwide and has offices in Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, Europe, and the United States. UMC can be found on the web at http://www.umc.com.
About Virage Logic Corporation
Founded in 1996, Virage Logic Corporation rapidly established itself as a technology and market leader in providing advanced embedded memory intellectual property (IP) for the design of complex integrated circuits. Today the company is a global leader in semiconductor IP platforms comprising embedded memories, standard cells, and I/Os and is pioneering the development of a new class of IP called Silicon Aware IP. Silicon Aware IP tightly integrates Physical IP (memory, logic and I/Os) with the embedded test, diagnostic, and repair capabilities of Infrastructure IP to help ensure manufacturability and optimized yield at the advanced process nodes. Virage Logic's highly differentiated product portfolio provides higher performance, lower power, higher density and optimal yield to foundries, integrated device manufacturers (IDMs) and fabless customers who develop products for the consumer, communications and networking, hand-held and portable, and computer and graphics markets. The company's comprehensive quality efforts are validated in its FirstPass-Silicon Characterization Lab, which helps ensure high quality, reliable IP across a wide range of foundries and process technologies. Headquartered in Fremont, California, Virage Logic has R&D, sales and support offices worldwide. For more information, visit www.viragelogic.com.
SAFE HARBOR STATEMENT FOR VIRAGE LOGIC UNDER THE PRIVATE SECURITIES LITIGATION REFORM ACT OF 1995:
Statements made in this news release, other than statements of historical fact, are forward-looking statements, including, for example, statements relating to trends, business outlook, products, and customer relationships. Forward-looking statements are subject to a number of known and unknown risks and uncertainties, which might cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements. These risks and uncertainties include Virage Logic's ability to forecast its business, including its revenue, income and order flow outlook; Virage Logic's ability to execute on its strategy to become a provider of semiconductor IP platforms; Virage Logic's ability to continue to develop new products and maintain and develop new relationships with third-party foundries and integrated device manufacturers; adoption of Virage Logic's technologies by semiconductor companies and increases or fluctuations in the demand for their products; the company's ability to overcome the challenges associated with establishing licensing relationships with semiconductor companies; the company's ability to obtain royalty revenues from customers in addition to license fees, to receive accurate information necessary for calculating royalty revenues and to collect royalty revenues from customers; business and economic conditions generally and in the semiconductor industry in particular; competition in the market for semiconductor IP platforms; and other risks including those described in the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the period ended September 30, 2004, and in Virage Logic's other periodic reports filed with the SEC, all of which are available from Virage Logic's website (www.viragelogic.com) or from the SEC's website (www.sec.gov), and in news releases and other communications. Virage Logic disclaims any intention or duty to update any forward-looking statements made in this news release.
Note From UMC Concerning Forward-Looking Statements
Some of the statements in the foregoing announcement are forward looking within the meaning of the U.S. Federal Securities laws, including statements about future outsourcing, wafer capacity, technologies, business relationships and market conditions. Investors are cautioned that actual events and results could differ materially from these statements as a result of a variety of factors, including conditions in the overall semiconductor market and economy; acceptance and demand for products from UMC; and technological and development risks.