TowerJazz to Manufacture Magnetic Sensors
29 September, 2017
The cooperation between Crocus and TowerJazz started 7 years ago, when the two companies aligned their processes and adopted TMR magnetic sensing technology for the development of embedded MRAM
TowerJazz from Migdal Haemek, Israel, begins volume manufacturing of Crocus Technology TMR (Tunnel MagnetoResistance) sensors, using TowerJazz’s 0.13um CMOS process with a dedicated magnetic module in the Cu BEOL. Crocus has already licensed the TMR technology to an automotive Tier 1 customer, bringing increased business to both companies.
The heart of the Tunnel MagnetoResistance technology is a thin film magneto resistive device, the so-called Magnetic Tunnel Junction (MTJ). In its simplest form the MTJ consists of two magnetic layers on both sides of a thin insulating layer. One layer has a fixed magnetic moment while the other can chance freely in the presence of a magnetic field. When a magnetic field aligns with direction of the fixed layer, resistance is low. Resistance increases when applied field deviates from fixed layer direction. This change in resistance is the principle behind the high performance of this sensing technology.
The cooperation between Crocus and TowerJazz started 7 years ago, when the two companies aligned their processes and adopted TMR magnetic sensing technology for the development of embedded MRAM, a Magnetic RAM memory devices. It is interesting to mention that on May 2017, Crocus sold NXP Semiconductors a licence to use TMR sensing technology to develop the next generation of automotive applications, like Power steering and Electronic Throttle Control (ETC).
Magnetic transducers which sense magnetic field strength are widely used in modern industry and electronics to measure current, position, motion, direction, and other physical parameters. “We selected TowerJazz because of their capabilities to adapt their TS13 platform to incorporate our TMR technology which includes magnetic materials that are typically not used in CMOS,” said Michel Desbard, Crocus CEO.
According to a 2016 MarketsandMarkets report, the overall magnetic field sensors market was valued at USD $2.25 billion in 2015 and is expected to reach S4.16 billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 8.87% between 2016 and 2022. The growth of this market is driven by the rising demand for MEMS-based sensors across industry verticals, surge in the automotive industry, increasing demand for high-quality sensing devices, and continuous growth in consumer electronics applications.