NEWSLETTER — SEPTEMBER 2015
The Simpson Paradox:
Strength in hard times, diligence in good times.
Message from Mr. Russell Ellwanger—TowerJazz CEO & TPSCo Chairman
Simpson’s paradox is a statistical observation noting that trends in a group can vary substantially, even reverse, when compared to the trends of the sub groups of which it is comprised.
Berkeley Admission 1973
An oft-cited example of Simpson’s paradox is the case of Berkeley admissions in 1973.Graduate school admissions were 25% higher for men than for women. It led to a lawsuit for bias against women. However, in most colleges at Berkeley, the female acceptance rate was higher than the male. The big picture statistic was skewed because women tended to apply to the more competitive departments with lower overall admissions rates, whereas men applied to a greater extent to departments that were less competitive with higher overall admission rates.
Simpson in Business
This paradox is applicable in evaluations of a variety of enterprises and businesses. The sum output on paper of a country’s economy or a company’s financials can vary disproportionately with the actual activities and short-term achievements.
Applied to the One
This paradox also applies in evaluations of an individual’s performance. His or her “sum value” can vary disproportionately from abilities and potential. A young man or woman with an athletic, artistic or academic gift can at an early instance be determined as “brilliant,” with the less gifted being unimpressive. However, this snapshot can be inaccurate. It does not measure the effort that a less gifted individual may exert to “master” the discipline. Lesser talent, committed to excellence, surpasses gifted individuals who give little effort. Hence the snapshot does not accurately reflect nor can it predict near, mid or long term performance.
The world cannot measure dedication and commitment; only the person, himself, is buoyed up through the inspiration borne of tireless dedication. This in turn yields the courage to persevere until excellence is achieved. That is not to say that a snapshot of excellent performance, combined with dedication to the required/prescribed development activities, will not remain and even progress in excellence. It will.
Back to Business
This is very relevant to businesses. Upon entering any new activity, or upon making major changes in a company’s direction, the short term top line and bottom line does not indicate the direction that the company is taking. Strong leaders, based on what they see, know and feel, continue to drive and motivate knowing that the big picture metrics will follow. A requisite for great leadership may be this ability to make change as well as drive, motivate, and imbue confidence during the lag time between direction/effort and results.
It may not be immediately evident when building block activities begin to deviate from a course that will bring success. “When all is well” is exactly the time to be keenly attentive. It is ever so important to have strong, trusted customer relationships which give immediate feedback. Such feedback can be the customer’s perception regarding needed changes and improvements. But, equally important, they often state that which is good and enabling, hence where added focus is needed to move good into differentiated greatness.
Simpson and TowerJazz
Our journey at TowerJazz is fulfilling as a function of customer partnership towards mutual growth. I just recently celebrated my 10-year anniversary at the company. We have grown from a 2005 annual performance of $100M revenue, negative $55M cash from operations and $540M net debt, to annualized Q4 target run rates breaking $1B revenue, $220M cash from operations a 160M net debt and sustainable GAAP profit.
The first years we lived the paradox where the big picture top and bottom line was weak, but the individual activities were most strong. How grateful we are for customers who noted our drive and gave us the benefit of the doubt during this period.
At this point, our top and bottom line results indicate our good efforts of past years. By drawing off of internal “small picture” metric trends coupled with close ties to our customers’ pulse, we can and must make continual adjustments and reinforce the core positives to ensure not only continuity of the present, but also continuity in performance growth.
Thank you for your partnership and trust.
Strong Revenue Growth
- Q2 Record revenues of $236 million (35% organic y-o-y growth)
- Q3 Mid range guidance of $244 million
Substantial Margins increase
- GAAP net profit with sustainable business model
- Non-GAAP gross margin of 37% (up from 27% in Q2 ‘14)
- EBIDTA of $59M (77% y-o-y increase); Non-GAAP Net Profit of $54M
Strong Balance Sheet and Financial Ratios
- Shareholders’ equity of $300M
- Net debt reduced to $150M (vs. ~$400M as of June 30, 2014)
- Cash on hand as of June 30, 2015 of $143M
18 Month Overview: Process Offerings and Design Enablement Capabilities
Guy Eristoff, TPSCo CEO
Since TPSCo’s inception, a great deal of emphasis has been placed on business interoperability between TowerJazz and TPSCo to maximize the capabilities of the companies’ six worldwide manufacturing facilities. These efforts are directed at providing our customers with enhanced technology offerings, dual-sourcing, and increased capacity. In the past 18 months, many of these efforts have already been realized and we continue to pursue other opportunities that will enable us to provide the utmost in quality and customer service.
TPSCo Technology Overview
TPSCo possesses a wide range of device technologies from 45nm to 0.5µm. Different process applications include high precision analog/mixed signal CMOS, high frequency RF/mmWave, high voltage PMIC/BMIC, CIS and CCD and advanced discrete power devices as well as customized pathfinder projects for next generation IOT applications. Additionally, TPSCo continues to assist our IDM and fab-lite customers by providing an extremely responsive process transfer service known as TOPS. All projects undertaken to date have enjoyed first time success due to rigorous process development and transfer methodologies employed by the TPSCo technology team. TPSCo is also focused on advanced analog technologies such as 65nm CIS, RF SOI and mmWave RF technology development.
CMOS Image Sensor (CIS) Offering
TPSCo has developed CIS production solutions with world leading quantum efficiencies, sub-blooming pixel charge saturation figures of merit, and dark current/white pixel performance due to our unique proprietary dual light pipe structure coupled with an ultra-deep photodiode structure. We offer 65nm CIS process solutions for pixel requirements from 1.12um to 6um and above pitch, in sensor sizes from VGA to full frame and above using 1D or 2D stitching technology. This includes full wafer 300mm sensors for X-ray applications. We are offering optimized pixel designs free of charge to qualified customers for fast sensor development. Additionally, we will offer a global shutter process with selected customer sampling in Q1 2016. Finally, we are now focusing on development of ultra-high QE sensors with a new light collecting technology. This technology will be ready for customer samples in 2017.
65nm RF SOI Technology
Another focus area for TPSCo is 65nm RF SOI where we have achieved world leading Ron x Coff performance of ~90 femtoseconds. We will release the associated 2.5V RF switch process design kit, (PDK) in Q4 2015, and have already shipped this technology for sampling by a lead customer. In Q2 2016, we plan to release a dual gate 1.2V/2.5V PDK for integrated RF front-end solutions. Additionally, we are releasing a 65nm, 77GHz mmWave RFCMOS technology PDK later this year. All PDKs come with complimentary standard cells and IPs to aid designers in fast time to tapeout
Power Management Platform
TowerJazz’s TS18PM high voltage technology has been transferred to TPSCo and will enter volume customer production in Q4 2015. The TS18PM scalable LDMOS BCD technology provides a low mask count, best in class power management process with industry leading Rdson figures of merit and a feature rich, IP rich PDK. This platform is well suited to commercial and industrial BMIC and PMIC markets, as well as automotive PMIC applications. TS18PM supports AEC-Q100 Grade 1 automotive quality and will run elevated temperature Grade 0 samples in Q3 2015. When fully qualified for commercial and industrial applications in Q4 2015, there will be seamless GDS II transfer capability between TPSCo and other TowerJazz facilities for this process family, allowing customer BCP security on a continental scale. Risk starts of TS18PM have already begun.
Historically, more than 500 million automotive products have been produced from the TPSCo fabs in the last 30 years. For our customers’ protection, the TPSCo IP security environment has been constructed on crypto and e-Money device compartmentalized security methodologies, and all our Japanese manufacturing facilities are ISO27001 & IEC15408 certified. TPSCo is actively producing significant volumes of automotive and secure products at this time.
TPSCo’s Technology Computer Aided Design
TPSCo has constructed highly accurate Technology Computer Aided Design (TCAD) decks for a wide range of process technologies. For example, TCAD decks of our 65nm 1.12um pixel CIS technology have the capability to generate three-dimensional simulation of a defined process and pixel architecture for both electrical and optical characteristics.
These simulations have been silicon verified for accuracy and have been validated in mass production of several CIS technology nodes and pixel designs. The TPSCo CIS TCAD decks can calculate not only steady state photo diode performance such as saturation characteristics, but also formulate transient analysis results of read characteristics and image lag under high frame rate operation. The CIS TCAD decks enable TPSCo to develop high quality robust imaging solutions in the shortest time possible for various customer-specified pixel sizes and figures of m
Process Design Kits (PDKs)
TPSCo’s CIS design kit contains dedicated SPICE models for pixel transistors, advanced verification runsets and pixel skeleton IPs that enable designers to develop their customized and optimized sensor designs for a specific target application. We have continued to develop several interoperable PDKs, (iPDKs) and other PDK components for multiple EDA tools. As referenced earlier, TPSCo will release the mmWave PDK supporting up to 110GHz for our 65nm RFCMOS platform with state of the art RF modeling in Q4 2015. Additionally for MOSFETs, an inductor and transmission line tool box kit will be available in Q4 2015. An upcoming advanced PDK will be released in 2016 that will be built on a tile based design concept which consists of key device elements with very accurate device modeling. It will provide designers the flexibility to select favorable components and allow designers to line them up like tiles to rapidly implement a well-optimized design.
Customer Service and Support
Since TPSCo was formed in April of 2014, a significant amount of effort has been placed on enabling customers to run their circuit designs at the three TPSCo fabs in Japan using both TowerJazz and Panasonic process flows, as well as customer transferred process flows. In order to enable compartmentalized customer access to PDKs for design purposes, a TPSCo portal that supportings 24/7 operations has been established. This portal is modeled after the TowerJazz portal, but has dual interfaces in English and Japanese for our TPSCo customers. The portal also supports customer tapeout activities online, as well as help tickets, inline WIP tracking, order and shipment reports, QA and electrical test results. All data is stored in secured servers using a web-based environment. An experienced customer support team was formed and further trained in TPSCo and TowerJazz business interoperability. In addition to the TowerJazz sales representative, local account managers and customer logistics managers have been assigned to customer accounts in order to support both IDMs and fabless companies with the highest quality of service by understanding our customers’ wants and needs.
In conclusion, over the last 18 months TPSCo has formulated multiple PDKs for our customers, transferred multiple processes from TowerJazz and third party sources, and developed a foundry ecosystem that has allowed us to enter volume third party production very quickly, with solid yield and reliability results. We are extremely pleased with all of TPSCo’s achievements thus far and look forward to the next 18 months as we continue to bring on more customers and increase our foundry production shipments.
Mr. Michael Song
Vice President of Sales and President of TowerJazz Korea
In this issue, we feature a message from Mr. Michael Song, Vice President of Sales and President of TowerJazz Korea. He has served in this position since February, 2013 and prior to this, he served as Korea Sales Director for TowerJazz since 2008.
In 2009, with an aim to engage business with fast developing Korean fabless companies, TowerJazz initiated sales activities in Korea where it was basically a “barren land’ for foreign foundries at the time. To enhance local customer support, TowerJazz established a sales office in the same year and eventually became the only foreign analog and specialty foundry to succeed in the Korean market. Korea has been presenting steady growth at a CAGR of 34% during the period 2009-2015. As the revenue leader of the APAC region, we are forecasting over $100M through years 2017 and 2018.
So far, our BCD product line has been the major revenue booster in Korea showing strong market share with component products such as class D audio amplifiers, LED drivers and PMICs. We have also been gradually building up a presence in the domestic market with CMOS image sensor (CIS) technology for X-ray applications, a MS/CMOS platform for mobile sensors and 700V technology for the LED lighting market.
As far as future growth, we will look to TowerJazz Panasonic Semiconductor Company TPSCo as the main source. TPSCo’s offerings such as 65nm RFCMOS, 45nm CMOS, 110nm CIS, HVCMOS and BCD are very appealing to the Korean market. In fact, we have already started detailed discussions on CMOS image sensor (CIS) opportunities with several worldwide well-known surveillance and mobile companies who are interested in 65nm CIS technology on 300mm wafers. The state of the art pixel which is known as the best in the world is especially drawing customers’ attention.
The Korea Sales team expects these opportunities will contribute to the increased revenue growth in the next two years. We will be highlighting the offerings of TPSCo in our 3rd annual Technical Global Symposium in Korea that will be held on the 10th of September, along with presentations highlighting our specialty technologies.
To support the growing demands of Korean customers and meet their needs, we have a strong work force in the Korea office specializing in quality, technical support, sales, and logistics aspects, respectively.
Strong team work has been easing the challenges for a foreign foundry and has led us to stand where we are now. I believe that the upcoming future of Korea business is very bright with strong sales, technical support and innovative technologies.
TowerJazz and TPSCo Worldwide Technical Global Symposium (TGS) 2015 to take place in Korea, Japan, and the US
Register for one of our events and join us to learn more about our advanced technology offerings across all of our specialty analog business units. You will also hear about our extended capabilities at our worldwide manufacturing facilities and take part in engaging discussions with industry peers and company executives. We hope to see you there!
Seoul | September 10
Tokyo | October 20
Newport Beach | November 17–19
Sponsors at TGS events include:
TowerJazz’s advanced power management BCD platforms webinar
On July 15, 2015 we held a live Webinar on TowerJazz’s advanced power management BCD platforms leading to smaller form factors and cost-efficient solutions.
New features were described that enable integration of traditionally discrete board components into a single chip solution, and that also show how our scalable voltage concept, together with different process flavors and low Rdson transistors, enables higher performance at a smaller die size resulting in cost reduction.
TowerJazz’s leading Bipolar-CMOS-DMOS (BCD) process is used in complex power management chips including driver ICs, battery and portable power management, power control for PCs, Class-D audio amplifiers, and other consumer, communications and computing applications.
If you missed it and want to hear it…. you can find a recorded session of this webinar on the TowerJazz website: www.towersemi.com/webinars/integrated-on-chip-power-solutions.html
We will be offering more webinars and tutorials on various topics. Upcoming webinars will be posted on the TowerJazz website, www.towersemi.com/webinars/, so please stay tuned!
PARTICIPATION AT INDUSTRY EVENTS
IMS 2015 (International Microwave Symposium)
In late May, TowerJazz attended the International Microwave Symposium (IMS) in Phoenix, AZ. IMS is the industry’s leading conference with thousands of participants from academia and the semiconductor industry with an Exhibitor’s Hall housing more than 600 companies.
The conference affords us an excellent opportunity to network with current and potential customers and suppliers, benchmark against competitors, and keep up with industry trends. Several papers featured demonstrations of the TowerJazz SBC18H3 technology including:
- BAE’s demonstration of an RF-FPGA system that leverages our SBC18H3B technology on SOI. The process allows assembly of high performance RF blocks with excellent isolation for flexible system prototyping and reconfiguration.
- UCSD’s announcement of the world’s largest phased array using our SBC18H3 process and reticle stitching. Such phased arrays may provide the backbone for very high frequency (60GHz) directional transmission in next-generation cellular networks.
- Demonstration of a wireless transceiver chip set capable of 4.8 Gbps transmission over 20 meters.
In addition, there were sessions featuring RF-SOI and SiGe BiCMOS in front-end module (FEM) applications, and an interesting panel discussion on 5G cellular networks where industry experts shared their views on the challenges associated with defining standards, component testing and network latency.
PARTICIPATION AT INDUSTRY EVENTS
TowerJazz at DAC
On June 8–10, 2015, TowerJazz and TowerJazz Panasonic Semiconductor Co. TPSCo participated at DAC (Design Automation Conference) USA held in San Francisco CA, providing several presentations and demonstrations with our major design partners including: Ansys, Cadence Design Systems, Keysight, Mentor Graphics, SiliconCloud/Silvaco EDA and Synopsys.
TowerJazz has participated in and sponsored this conference since its inception in 2008. This year we had a joint booth with TowerJazz Panasonic Semiconductors Co. TPSCo. During the conference, we conducted back to back meetings with our European customers and defined new projects and activities with them for the coming year.
TowerJazz has participated at DAC for the past few years to showcase our technologies and solutions for best design first time success. This year, the focus was on both TowerJazz and TPSCo technologies. We provided daily seminars and presentations together with our EDA partners to create reference design flows in order to show our mutual customers how our technology and EDA flows allow first time silicon success and time to market advantages.
TowerJazz sponsors the first International Yoga Day in Tel Aviv
TowerJazz supports a wide range of health, education, social and community activities that affect and involve our employees and our community’s well-being.
On June 21, TowerJazz sponsored the International Yoga Day (IYD) 2015 in Tel-Aviv that was organized by the Embassy of India in Israel in collaboration with various yoga associations. IYD offered a variety of yoga classes, informative sessions on health and well-being as well as Indian cultural shows. The event was inaugurated by the H.E. Ambassador Jaudeep Sarkar, and saw the participation of leading yoga associations, Israeli VIPs and more than 1500 yoga practitioners throughout the day.
This year TowerJazz chose to join the Good Deeds Day. Approximately 60 volunteers from the company went out for three hours to places in the community in Migdal Haemek and Nazareth to take part in various volunteer projects.
Background on the International Day of Yoga – it was proposed by India and endorsed by a record 175 member states. The proposal was first introduced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address during the opening of the 69th session of the General Assembly.
“By proclaiming 21 June as the International Day of Yoga, the General Assembly has recognized the holistic benefits of this timeless practice and its inherent compatibility with the principles and values of the United Nations.” – Ban Ki-Moon, United Nations Secretary-General
GETTING TO KNOW US
Dr. David Howard
Executive Director & Fellow
Dr. David Howard has been with TowerJazz since joining Rockwell in Newport Beach, CA in 1997, followed by Conexant and Jazz Semiconductor. He has also held positions at IMEC and SEMATECH, and helped form the first ITRS Roadmap for MEMS.
Q. Please tell us about your position, focus areas, etc.
A. My role is to help drive new technology development and business opportunities from idea to demonstration and production.
My work contribution can be individual, but is primarily collaborative and cross-functional. It involves projects run out of the business units (BUs) or R&D with the fab, across groups, across sites, and of course involves developing business with customers and other industry partners (vendors, universities, and fabs). Project scope can involve tools, processes, devices, products, and business relations, working with the excellent people involved in each project.
My focus is to enable TowerJazz to have technological advantages, enhanced capabilities and product differentiation, with good margin, through the execution of very specific customer programs. These mostly fall under the RF/HPA and our Aerospace & Defense BUs.
Current areas of focus are:
- Getting our infrared process line to production and leveraging our partnership with FLIR
- Helping TowerJazz to gain a leadership position in RF technology through executing various technological developments, partnerships and demonstrations in RF SOI, SiGe, and even MEMS
- Seeking new technology initiatives, funding, and customers synergistic with our Commercial technical roadmap, often through our Aerospace & Defense customer base
- Taking part in some F3 duties involving our patent portfolio, and our new Technical Education Seminar (TES) series, which allow me to interact with clever engineers.
Q. What do you enjoy about your position and what challenges you?
A. I like the variation, the ownership. I especially enjoy the deeper interactions with individuals or teams that come from shared experience. I have some freedom and trust from above and around me. When helping to develop new business technology strategies, I believe the criteria should be greater and harder than the criteria necessary to approve “tweaks” to existing business technology…so choosing what new things to do, gaining consensus, and maintaining our focus will continue be a significant challenge, but when successful, it is ever-sweet! For example, having helped establish CMOS, SiGe and SOI has been good for us. Also the DARPA, US Army & Air Force programs have been good for the Newport Beach fab and our technical roadmap.
Q: What is your focus this year from a business standpoint?
- FLIR production deliveries, revenue
- New RF programs, key deliveries to our top customer
- Assisting with aggressive technological demonstrations and “firsts” for TowerJazz, e.g. achieving 20dB improvement in some RF switch metrics.
Q. What are some of your hobbies?
A: In addition to my job and my kids, I’m a fan of sports, especially soccer. I also like building things, backpacking, sharing meals. I am experimenting with golf.
Q: What is your favorite travel destination?
A: I lived in Belgium for a while, and have traveled in Europe and Asia. But, I have roots in Boston, MA and Vermont where I enjoy trout fishing, skiing, forest and family. More recently, I’ve been backpacking with friends in the mountains of the Sierra Nevada for vistas and shared peak experiences. But, any place with good food, good people and good cheer is nice.
TowerJazz Ramps Mass Production of Touch Screen Controller Developed by N-trig for Digital Pen
TowerJazz is ramping high volume production of a touch screen controller developed by N-trig, an Israeli company. Recently, this advanced digital pen technology was acquired by Microsoft for use with its Surface products. The touch screen controller, which enables special capabilities of sensing multi-fingers touch and a digital pen (stylus), will be produced using TowerJazz’s advanced 0.18-micron power management process (TS18PM).
“Mass producing N-trig technology for an industry giant further enhances our position as a leading power management IC manufacturer. N-trig chose to work with TowerJazz due to our excellent design and engineering support as well as our platform capability. We look forward to supporting further innovation for these products and providing volume production as the tablet market continues to grow,” said Russell Ellwanger, TowerJazz Chief Executive Officer.
BrightWay Vision Chooses TowerJazz for the production of its Gated Sensor
BrightWay Vision has chosen TowerJazz’s TS18IS CMOS image sensor (CIS) technology to manufacture image sensors for its patented automotive cameras, specifically forward looking cameras in vehicles, to allow visibility in all weather conditions. BrightWay Vision has developed BrightEye™, an Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) camera for day and night-time forward facing driver assistance functions based on patented gated imaging technology.
”We are absolutely thrilled with the performance of our sensor using TowerJazz’s leading edge CIS technology,” said Dr. Ofer David, CEO of BrightWay Vision. “The tight cooperation on the development between our R&D team and the excellent pixel development team of TowerJazz, allowed us to produce a very high performing sensor that is now being evaluated by leading car manufacturers.”
Inside The 5G Smartphone
Video and overall demand for higher bandwidth and throughput are creating new opportunities in the smartphone market, sparking new technologies, approaches and materials.
Amid a slowdown in the cell phone business, the market is heating up for perhaps the next big thing in wireless—5th generation mobile networks or 5G. In fact, major carriers, chipmakers and telecom equipment vendors are all rushing to get a piece of the action in 5G, which is the follow-on to the current wireless standard known as 4G or long-term evolution (LTE). Intel, Samsung and Qualcomm are among the players in the 5G sweepstakes.
“5G will likely shift the industry towards higher frequencies. That, in turn, will push all of the figures of merit (FoM) higher and to the right. This march towards improved FoMs will not only require continuous innovation within the SOI technology, but also the invention of disruptive switch technologies,” said Marco Racanelli, Sr. VP & GM of the RF/HPA and Power Business Groups at TowerJazz. “MEMS technology has been shown to provide the lowest insertion loss and highest linearity among various semiconductor technologies available to us today.”
TowerJazz and Anatrix Develop RadHard RF ASIC; Reaches Flight Qualification
Anatrix utilized TowerJazz’s advanced 0.18-micron SiGe BiCMOS process at its US fab
TowerJazz and Anatrix developed a RadHard by Design RF front end ASIC utilizing TowerJazz’s 0.18-micron SiGe BiCMOS (SBC18HA) process through its U.S. Aerospace & Defense business unit. The new ASIC has produced leading edge RF phase detection with integrated controller functions which has successfully entered flight qualification status. Anatrix’s proprietary RadHard by Design methodology allows its customers to achieve program radiation tolerance specifications without expensive and time consuming over design. The Anatrix methodology creates the optimum trade for customers between total ionizing dose, single event effects tolerance and cost.
“TowerJazz technology was critical to the success of this program; its SiGe BiCMOS process allowed Anatrix to achieve outstanding RF performance utilizing SiGe HBT devices while creating a cost effective solution for our space customer by incorporating CMOS based analog and digital control circuitry,” said Greg Pauls Ph.D, President of Anatrix.