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EXAR ANNOUNCES ALLIANCE AND FOUNDRY SERVICE ARRANGEMENT WITH SILICON MICROSTRUCTURES

 SAN JOSE, Calif., March 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Exar Corporation (NASDAQ: EXAR) and Silicon Microstructures, Inc. (SMI) today announced a major alliance and foundry arrangement to manufacture low-cost, high- volume silicon sensors. Initial products to be built under the arrangement will be silicon pressure sensors and accelerometers.
 SMI, based in Fremont, Calif., was founded in 1991 by sensor pioneers Jim Knutti and Henry Allen. Products include a wide variety of custom and standard pressure sensors, accelerometers, and mechanical structures using silicon as the base material.
 Under the arrangement, SMI designs its sensors and microstructures so that the required processes closely match standard steps used by Exar in analog circuit manufacture. Exar processes the wafers as part of standard production runs, and delivers them to SMI ready to probe, dice and package. According to Allen, vice president of engineering at SMI, "Through careful modeling and design, we have been able to incorporate Exar's standard process steps into about 90 percent or our wafer manufacturing flow. We essentially piggy-back on the high volume of wafers that Exar processes for its analog business."
 Other benefits of the arrangement include opening many markets where a number of joint and complimentary products are planned. "Analog circuits and sensors are often combined in a single product. We have already identified a number of applications where we will jointly develop circuit and sensor products," commented Steve Michael, Exar vice president, New Market Development Group.
 "Strategically, this arrangement allows us to open many new product areas by merging the mechanical structure technology of SMI with our circuit design expertise," added George Wells, president of Exar.
 As part of the alliance, Exar becomes a minority shareholder in SMI. "The financial benefits to Exar include an opportunity to effectively utilize capacity," said Ron Guire, senior vice president and chief financial officer of Exar. "This foundry capacity, will provide SMI an opportunity to expand into high-volume automotive, medical and consumer products," continued Knutti, president of SMI.
 Exar Corporation designs, manufactures and markets analog and mixed- signal integrated circuits for use in telecommunications, data communications, microperipherals and consumer electronics products. Exar's mixed signal circuits may incorporate features such as non- volatile EEPROM memory and switched capacitor filters. In addition to its core business, Exar sells epitaxial and bipolar wafers to Rohm Co., Ltd., Exar's largest customer.
 -0- 03/01/93
 /CONTACT: Steve Michael of Exar, 408-434-6400, or Pete Goettner of SMI, 510-490-5010/
 (EXAR)


CO: Exar Corporation, Silicon Microstructures, Inc. ST: California IN: CPR TLS SU:

CK-JP -- NY013 -- 1190 03/01/93 08:03 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 1, 1993
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