MagnaChip Semiconductor Corporation (NYSE: MX), a Korea-based designer and manufacturer of analog and mixed-signal semiconductor platform solutions for communications, IoT, consumer, industrial and automotive applications, announced today it was selected as a foundry partner by ELAN Microelectronics to manufacture the world’s first fingerprint sensor IC-based smartcard. The smartcard uses biometrics technology that provides secure identification to prevent credit card fraud, a severe and growing problem globally. The sensor-IC based smartcard will be manufactured utilizing MagnaChip’s 0.35 micron Mixed Signal Thick IMD manufacturing process technology.
The requirement for more precise, efficient and low-power ICs has increased dramatically, coinciding with the rise in importance of biometrics technology for a range of applications. Industry analyst Frost & Sullivan forecasts that the biometrics industry will grow at a CAGR of 17.4% from 2014 to 2019 and that fingerprint-based sensor ICs will comprise 66% of the market.
MagnaChip was selected as ELAN’s foundry partner primarily because of the company’s recognized specialized foundry capability, proven and reliable manufacturing processes with robust analog performance. MagnaChip’s current technologies for fingerprint sensor ICs include 0.35 micron, 0.18 micron 1.8V/3.3V and single 3.3V Mixed Signal technology processes. MagnaChip plans to expand its portfolio of manufacturing processes to include more advanced technologies such as its highly competitive 0.18 micron Slim Mixed Signal manufacturing process, which requires fewer mask layers than usual. MagnaChip’s manufacturing processes are well-suited for applications in fast-growing markets that require fingerprint identification, such as in the payment, medical, transportation and automobile industries.
“We hope that the collaboration between MagnaChip and ELAN will continue to produce innovative and high quality products for our customers,” said I. H. Yeh, ELAN’s Chief Executive Officer. “ELAN sees its continued strategic partnership with MagnaChip as a long-term benefit to ELAN and MagnaChip.”
YJ Kim, Chief Executive Officer of MagnaChip, commented, “We are very pleased to announce MagnaChip’s continued partnership with ELAN and the volume ramp of fingerprint sensor IC-based products utilizing our 0.35 micron Mixed Signal Thick IMD based process technology. This process is well-suited for smartcards, which require low power consumption. We will continue to develop high-performance and cost-effective fingerprint sensor IC technology solutions that meet the growing needs of our foundry customers.”