Etron Honored with 2022 Hsinchu Science Park R&D Achievement Award for Outstanding R&D Accomplishments
The Hsinchu Science Park 42nd Anniversary Gala Dinner, with the theme titled “Innovation as the Driving Force, Sustainability as the Focal Point,” took place on December 15, 2022, where a host of top-performing companies received commendation during the grand event. Etron Technology, Inc. (TPEx: 5351), the world’s leading IC design company that promotes heterogeneous integration, was honored with the R&D Achievement Award for its excellent R&D accomplishments. This award serves not only as a recognition of Etron’s long-standing commitment to R&D and outstanding performance in technology commercialization, but also an encouragement for others to engage in corporate sustainability and contribute to the long-term development of the industry.
Established for over 31 years, Etron, with a solid foothold in Taiwan’s Hsinchu Science Park (HSP), has benefited from HSP’s unceasing efforts to establish an excellent industrial environment aimed at facilitating ongoing innovation and concrete R&D accomplishments among companies. The Hsinchu Science Park Bureau (HSPB) continues to encourage companies to engage in R&D at HSP and obtain patents to protect their R&D accomplishments, thereby spurring the vigorous development of Taiwan’s semiconductor industry and its links to the world. HSPB’s initiatives to foster industrial innovation and technology commercialization have not only driven economic development and provided an excellent regional environment, but also brought positive development of leading ideas and humanities to Etron. Having been honored with the R&D Achievement Award, Etron endeavors to carry on expanding its business in domestic and international markets, creating a Taiwan brand image with a global perspective, attracting international collaboration, and establishing cross-disciplinary links, so that the spirit of Taiwan continues to shine bright on the international stage.
Etron Chairman Dr. Nicky Lu founded the company after returning from the U.S. in the 1990s. He actively engages in advanced technologies for semiconductor manufacturing and design with an insistence on independent R&D. In the national-level Sub-micron Project jointly launched by the Ministry of Economic Affairs (R.O.C.) and the the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), Dr. Lu, along with ITRI’s Electronic and Optoelectronic System Research Laboratories, successfully developed Taiwan’s first 8-inch wafer and 0.5-micron logic, SRAM, and DRAM process technology, thereby setting a key milestone in Taiwan’s development of advanced wafer technology that has resulted in the large-scale development of the semiconductor industry and the influx of capital into HSP. At the same time, Dr. Lu has also made great contributions to the development of R&D talents in the semiconductor industry and laid a solid foundation in Taiwan’s journey to become a pivotal production cluster in the semiconductor industry chain. As a result, the resilience of supply chain for Taiwanese chips has gained serious attention from the global community. During that period, Taiwan’s semiconductor industry was ushering in a boom era, which not only gave rise to a host of large semiconductor manufacturing companies, but also enabled IC design companies to flourish. At that time, Etron launched Taiwan’s first 16Mb DRAM and 4Mb SRAM in addition to effectively developing logic design methods with advanced EDA tools, thereby leading to the successful development of many IC design companies.
Heterogeneous integration was first proposed by Dr. Lu in his plenary talk titled “Emerging Era of Heterogeneous Integration” at the International Solid-State. Circuits Conference (ISSCC) in 2004. As early as 2000, Etron launched the Known-Good-Die Memory (KGDM), which successfully tapped into the heterogeneous integration product series of various manufacturers such as Intel, Seagate, and MediaTek, thus becoming the frontrunner in the promotion of heterogeneous integration in the global semiconductor industry. The trend of innovative IC heterogeneous platform has triggered the launch of multi-stacked KGD chip, also known as the Heterogeneous Integration of Si-Centric Technology, which has now been recognized worldwide as a specific solution, other than Moore’s Law (i.e., the trend of homogeneous transistor on a chip), that can drive the semiconductor industry to continuously grow towards the trillion-dollar era of the development of circuit integration technology in parallel.
As advanced DRAM products are needed for heterogeneous integration applications, Etron introduced a new platform for heterogeneous integration of AI and DRAM. For example, the new RPC DRAM® x16bit DDR3 SDRAM has half the number of pins found in products of the same grade, and it is only one-tenth the size of similar products to achieve both a small factor factor and cost reduction, thereby offering both cost and power consumption advantages. Etron’s very own RPC DRAM® is the world’s first and smallest DRAM in a wafer-level chip scale package (WLCSP), which supports high bandwidth and meets the needs of artificial intelligence (AI)-generation micro terminal devices. After observing customers’ needs in product usage, Etron developed a new business model to provide a complete solution with the integration of controller and DRAM.
KOOLDRAMTM, another innovation of Etron, is a product that was born out of the physical limitations of traditional DRAM products and developed by flipping the design of DRAM circuits, can significantly extend DRAM data retention time and increase overall DRAM performance in compliance with the JEDEC standard. It is also particularly suitable for high-temperature applications. This product overcomes the long-standing problem of efficiency loss while accessing data in high-temperature environments encountered by traditional DRAM. Meanwhile, Etron’s RPC DRAM, which is currently the smallest DRAM that can support high bandwidth, is an excellent solution for customers in the face of size, cost, and power consumption challenges. It has also passed international automotive certification standards (i.e., AEC-Q100 Level 2). With a long-standing commitment to the development of innovative memory products, Etron also promotes AI-on-chips with heterogeneous integration of components so as to yield R&D results and realize technology commercialization.
As one of the few design companies with an understanding of both memory and logic ICs in the world, Etron has a comprehensive product line that ranges from master control, device, transmission cable to USB audio and video capture interface products, thanks to its devotion to USB high-speed transmission interface products over the years. Specifically, the USB Type-C E-Marker controller IC-EJ903 has been honored with the Excellent Manufacturer Innovative Product Award by HSP. EJ903, one of the key components in ultra-high speed transmission cables, is the first in the world to be awarded both USB4TM and ThunderboltTM certifications. It has been used by PC peripheral cable manufacturers and in optical fiber cables, and also integrated into USB4TM products, which not only leads end users to use these products, but also speeds up the adoption of USB4TM.
In an effort to realize the advantage of the memory plus logic IC design, Etron is actively promoting heterogeneous integration of products in AI terminal devices. At present, eYs3D Microelectronics, Co., a subsidiary of Etron, has developed AI-enabled computer vision technology and products. For instance, the XINK next-generation robot vision platform is built with eCV1, the company’s first ever AI chip that uses a 28nm and 12nm dual chipset. This AI chip has been officially communicated to customers to develop new applications. Compared to traditional chips, this AI chip demonstrates enhanced performance and is capable of processing a massive amount of data in a shorter period of time, enabling it to be used extensively in rapidly growing areas, such as AI and machine learning, Internet of Things, and wireless communication devices.
Ushering in the era of inclusive application of IntelligenceN, Etron is actively advancing heterogeneous integration of products in product innovation. While stepping up efforts to engage in the development of innovative technologies and realize the mass production of advanced products, Etron sets high requirements for product quality and speeds up the development of high-performance, low-power DRAM products. At the same time, Etron has also initiated heterogeneous integration of AI, logic IC, and DRAM, with plans to obtain patents all over the world as the company anticipates to gain from markets derived from innovative products.
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Corporate Spokesperson: Justine Tsai
Deputy Spokesperson: Eason Cheng
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