DRS Technologies and Cypress Semiconductor reach agreement to manufacture uncooled detectors

DRS Technologies, Inc., a Finmeccanica Company, and Cypress Semiconductor Corp. (NASDAQ: CY) today announced that DRS will transfer its Microbolometer technology for uncooled infrared detectors to Cypress for high-volume manufacturing.

The proprietary production process, developed by the Network and Imaging Systems (NIS) division of DRS Technologies, will be transferred to Cypress’s 65nm Class 10 eight-inch wafer fabrication facility in Bloomington, Minnesota. The exclusive agreement will allow DRS Technologies to continue to improve sensor production by taking advantage of Cypress’s advanced manufacturing for significantly reduced wafer costs.

Cypress operates its own wafer fabrication facility in Bloomington, Minnesota, and offers access to this facility as a Specialty Foundry Solutions provider. This 8-inch wafer fab manufactures in high volume down to the 90-nm node with 65nm capability. It offers process technologies that integrate SONOS-based non-volatile memory and precision analog/mixed signal capabilities. The facility can handle ITAR material, and has been accredited as a Category 1A Trusted Fab for fabrication, design, and testing of U.S. DoD Trusted Microelectronics.

“The partnership with Cypress will allow us to better meet the growing demands of the thermal imaging market,” said NIS President Mike Sarrica. “With our advanced, proprietary microbolometer production process and Cypress’s proven technology and manufacturing expertise, we can achieve the high-volume, high yield and low-cost capabilities that have become requirements of both the commercial and military markets.”

DRS and Cypress expect to have qualified product by early 2014.

“This partnership validates Cypress’s commitment to high-quality, low-cost manufacturing in the United States”, said Minh Pham, executive vice president of Worldwide Manufacturing at Cypress. “This partnership expands our base of foundry customers for our Minnesota wafer fab, and will add new MEMS processing capabilities to support fabrication of Microbolometers. We expect growth in our wafer foundry business as more companies see the value and service we can offer.”

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