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UMC Group and NexFlash Sign Agreement for 0.25um and 0.35um Embedded Flash Technologies.

SANTA CLARA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 1, 1999--NexFlash Technologies Inc. today announced that it has signed an agreement to license its patented 0.35- and 0.25-micron NexFlash(TM) process and design technologies to UMC Group.

The agreement involves the transfer of flash memory manufacturing processes to UMC Group company, UTEK Semiconductor Corp. (UTEK). In addition, the agreement offers certain high density, high speed and ultra low power flash memory designs for UMC Group customers to embed in their ASIC or logic products.

"This agreement is a significant step in the execution of our intellectual property licensing strategy, which targets fast growing embedded flash memory markets such as highly integrated microcontrollers and DSPs," said Mo Bandali, NexFlash's chief operating officer. "As our strategic partner, UMC Group can help us reach a broad customer base. Its excellent wafer production facilities also complement our embedded flash designs."

Bandali continued, "NexFlash's 0.35u FN:FN Technology has been proven both from a reliability and yield/performance point of view using other partners. NexFlash's technology uses the stack-gate cell and is highly scalable, a point that becomes important as the technology migrates down to 0.25-micron and 0.18-micron geometries."

"Embedded memories are a critical part of UMC Group's foundry strategy," said Jim Kupec, president of UMC Group (USA). "With the era of system-on-chip (SOC) designs upon us, we have made an extensive catalog of mega-cell block resources available to our customers through our Gold IP(TM) program. Embedded non-volatile memories are a key piece of our SOC solution, and NexFlash's excellent technology will enable UMC Group customers to quickly and cost-efficiently produce designs for a wide-range of applications."

NexFlash has established the goal of becoming the vendor of choice for embedded flash designs. Central to its core intellectual properties are several fundamental flash memory patents covering the memory cell architecture and operations in the Fowler-Nordheim tunneling mode. This technology has the benefit of very low power, low voltage, small memory sectors, and fast access/ programming/erase time. Additionally, the technology integrates well with manufacturing processes for ASIC or other logic products.

"We are very excited about this relationship with UMC Group, and we look forward to working with them for our mutual success," Bandali said.

About NexFlash Technologies

NexFlash Technologies Inc. is focused on designing and marketing high density, low power flash memory devices, as well as licensing flash memory designs for customers' embedded memory products. NexFlash products are used in telecommunications, data communications, networking systems, personal computers, instrumentation and consumer products.

About UMC Group

UMC Group is a world leading semiconductor foundry group consisting of United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC), United Semiconductor Corp. (USC), United Integrated Circuits Corp. (UICC), United Silicon, Inc. (USIC), UTEK Semiconductor Corp. (UTEK), and the first dedicated foundry in Japan, Nippon Foundry Inc. (NFI). The group leads the dedicated foundry industry in value-added design support with its Gold IP(TM) program.

In 1998, UMC Group's L250 (0.25um) and L220 (0.22um) process technologies set the foundry industry benchmark for production volumes, capacity and yields in very deep sub-micron technology. In 1999, UMC Group will have production-ready 0.18um (L180) and copper-interconnect technology. The UMC Group Silicon Shuttle(SM) test-chip program enables library vendors, IP vendors and foundry customers to verify their designs in silicon at low or no cost.

UMC Group companies are headquartered in Taiwan, with marketing and customer support offices located in the United States, Japan, and the Netherlands. UMC Group (U.S.A.) offices are located at 788 Palomar Avenue, Sunnyvale, CA 94086, tel. (408) 733-8881, fax (408) 733-8090.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Feb 1, 1999
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