Israel has long been recognized as a leading force in the semiconductor industry. Semiconductors continue to drive growth in many other markets including microprocessors, data and voice communications, wireless, IP and networking communications, medical, consumer, automotive, defense and more.
Israel presently maintains 5 semiconductor manufacturing plants (fabs). Intel has three plants and Tower Semiconducter maintains two. Israel also has over 150 fabless semiconductor companies, R&D facilities and design centers. Several companies develop and manufacture equipment for manufacturers of Semi-conductors. The world's first nano-wire (three times thinner than those used in microchips) was created at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.
Multinationals in Israel
· In 1964, Motorola Israel (MIL) became the first multinational company to establish a semiconductor facility in Arad, Israel.
· Intel has been present in Israel since 1974 and its first semiconductor R&D plant was opened in 1985. It is currently the country's largest nongovernmental employer with more than 7300 employees.
· Intel Israel developed the i860 XP microprocessor with RISC technology which enables 2.5 million transistors per chip. The Pentium 3 chip and its faster version Pentium 4, were both developed in its Israel facilities. Intel's Centrino Chipset with enhanced WiFi capabilities, was also designed in its Israel plant (Haifa R&D Center), and has earned Intel more than $5 billion worldwide. In 2006, Intel's Haifa R&D center introduced its newest chip, the Core 2 Duo Series, with double the computing core of any previous chip.
· Intel’s recently opened Fab28 in Kiryat Gat plant which produces the Penryn chip with 45 nanometer technology. Fab28 will, in the future, produce a faster 32-nanometer chip as well as one of the newest technologies available—the 0.08-0.13 micron.
· Tower Semiconductor Israel has the second largest fab in the country after Intel. Its site contains 200mm capabilities and 150mm diameter wafers, which is used to provide turnkey services for local and international companies including Motorola, and SanDisk.
· Other semiconductor multinationals present in Israel include Freescale Semiconductor, Infineon, Vishay, Zoran, Texas Instruments, IBM, Marvel, SanDisk, Applied Materials and KLA-Tencor
· SELA Ltd., an Israeli company that develops automated scanning electron microscope (SEM) and transmission electron microscope (TEM) preparation equipment, was named as Editor's Choice Best Product Award in 1998 by the prestigious Semiconductor International magazine for its TEMpro sample preparation system.
· Israel’s Saifun Semiconductors Ltd., acquired by Spansion in 2007, developed technology to quadruple memory capacity in serial flash memory devices for products such as digital cameras, cellular phones, PDAs and other devices.
· Israel’s DSP, with, 60% market share, is leading the development and marketing of components and software in the cellular communications market. The company creates, markets, licenses and supports software and integrated circuits based on digital signal processing (DSP) technology and proprietary ASICs for the
analog and digital cellular, wireless data communications and wireless PBX markets. DSPC was acquired by Marvell in 2006.
· Negevtech's proprietary Step & ImageTM technology is a highly developed numerical aperture ultraviolet inspection tool which combines bright and dark field imaging and is used by leading memory manufacturers worldwide.
· Electronic peptides were discovered by a research team at the Technion. Peptides are organic semiconductors using proteins designed from scratch in the laboratory. The proteins, linked together in precise chains to create electronic-grade material, are used in sensor devices to detect tiny amounts of diseased molecules in the body or toxins in the environment.
· Sales of semiconductors by Israeli chip makers reached $2.9 billion in 2007, representing 18% of total sales of Israel ’s industrial electronics sector (IMA).
· Currently, there are approximately 150 companies developing chips in Israel.
· Israel's fab-less sector is third after the USA and Taiwan.
· More than 7,000 engineers are employed in the semi conductor industry (IEI)
Sources include: Israel 's Export Institute, MAIT, the Economist Intelligence Unit, European Semiconductor, Compiler Technology Magazine, Semiconductor International, Gateway Investor Services and company websites