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SanDisk completes Matrix semiconductor acquisition
Ilse Jurriën : January 23th 2006 - 02:38 CET
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SanDiskSanDisk completes Matrix semiconductor acquisition : SanDisk Corp. announced that it completed the acquisition of Matrix Semiconductor. On October 20, 2005, SanDisk signed a definitive agreement to acquire Matrix, a pioneer in the design and development of three-dimensional (3-D) integrated circuits. Matrix 3-D Memory is used for one-time programmable storage applications where low cost is the paramount consideration, such as video games, music, and archiving. The acquisition consideration included approx. 3.7 million newly issued SanDisk shares, the assumption of equity incentives which could result in the issuance of approximately 600,000 additional shares of SanDisk stock, and cash of approximately $14 million.
SanDisk completes Matrix semiconductor acquisitionMatrix 3D IC Engineering
Matrix’s patented 3-D technology fundamentally changes the cost structure that governs IC design by providing an unprecedented, practical and high-volume approach to building multi-layered, three-dimensional integrated circuits. Using standard, proven semiconductor materials and process technology to build circuitry in multiple, active memory layers within a silicon die, Matrix achieves cost and density advantages that surpass existing technologies. The memory chip industry is continuously in search of better solutions. For over forty years, industry innovation has largely focused on shrinking process geometries to reach higher densities, lower costs, and increased performance. Matrix has demonstrated a new approach. In conventional ICs, all active circuitry rests on the silicon substrate, with additional layers of insulators and interconnects used only for wiring and mechanical strength. In contrast, Matrix’s unique 3-D architecture deposits multiple layers of active memory elements on a standard silicon substrate (or silicon surface) so that active circuitry is no longer confined to the silicon base, but extends vertically as well.

Matrix Memory Chips
This novel approach enables Matrix to build chips with a much smaller die area for a given density than existing technologies, optimizing use of expensive silicon real estate and dramatically increasing manufacturing yields. This fundamental innovation enables Matrix to introduce the lowest-cost-per-bit memory in the market. By using standard, proven semiconductor materials and process technology, Matrix leverages the vast knowledge and billions of dollars invested in the study of silicon and IC development. Using silicon reduces the complexity, costs, and risks associated with introducing new materials to development cycles and ensures high volume production with proven quality and reliability. Furthermore, Matrix is able to sustain its cost and density advantages with future generations of 3-D technology by scaling with advancements in industry. Matrix has developed an extensive and growing Intellectual Property portfolio. The advent of 3D IC design relaxes many present-day constraints, effectively accelerating Moore’s Law and pointing towards a fundamentally new way of thinking about the future of semiconductor design.

About Matrix Semiconductor
Matrix Semiconductor, Inc., a privately held company based in Santa Clara, California - is the creator and developer of the world’s first three-dimensional integrated circuits. Matrix’s first product, Matrix 3-D Memory (3DM), is a low cost, high density line of permanent, one-time programmable, non-volatile memory that is compatible with existing standards. Matrix 3-D Memory accelerates time-to-market for publishers of digital content and is targeted for use in portable consumer electronic devices.

About SanDisk
SanDisk is the original inventor of flash storage cards and is the world's largest supplier of flash data storage card products using its patented, high-density flash memory and controller technology. SanDisk is headquartered in Sunnyvale, CA and has operations worldwide, with more than half its sales outside the U.S.

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