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TSMC and MediaTek to Partner on Development of Innovative Chips for IoT and Wearable Products

Mar 28, 2016 | By Ken Liu

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) and MediaTek Inc. have announced their partnership on the development of innovative chips for Internet of Things (IoT) and wearable devices by using TSMC's ultra-low power (ULP) technology platform.

Industry executives anticipate the cooperation between the two global semiconductor heavyweights on innovative IoT and wearable products to open a new chapter in Taiwan's tech industry and enable the island's IoT-related startups to play an even more important role in the global market.

TSMC is the world's largest dedicated independent (pure-play) semiconductor foundry, with headquarters and main operations located in the Hsinchu Science and Industrial Park in Hsinchu, northern Taiwan. MediaTek is a Taiwanese fabless semiconductor company founded in 1997 that provides system-on-chip solutions for wireless communications, HDTV, DVD and Blu-ray. Headquartered in Hsinchu, Taiwan, the company has 25 offices worldwide and was the 4th largest IC designer worldwide in 2013, when its output totaled 220 million smartphone chips.

According to TSMC, the ULP platform offers multiple processes to provide significant power reduction benefits for IoT and wearable products and a comprehensive design ecosystem to accelerate time-to-market for customers.

The processes include 55-nanometer ULP, 40ULP, 28HPC+, and 16FFC, which the company stresses are ideally suited for a variety of smart and power-efficient applications in the IoT and wearable device markets.

MediaTek executives point out that although the two companies have been working closely together on new products, in the latest deal the two companies highlight partnership ties instead of customer-supplier relationships that were usually the case in past deals, suggesting the two sides will pool resources to co-develop ULP processes.

MediaTek's corporate vice president and general manager of the IoT business unit, J.C. Hsu, points out that the two companies achieved their first product milestone on this platform in January this year by launching MediaTek MT2523 chipset for fitness smart watches. Built on TSMC's 55nm ULP technology, MT2523 is the world's first system-in-package (SiP) solution to offer GPS, dual-mode Bluetooth low-energy, and a MIPI-supported high-resolution mobile screen.


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