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Panavision, Tower Semiconductor Intro Image Sensors

July 1, 2009

The two companies announce the production of the DLIS-2K family of single port re-configurable linear image sensors with 120 MHz pixel readout.

HOMER, NY & MIGDAL HA'EMEK, Israel -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Panavision Imaging LLC, a pioneering innovator and developer of high performance CMOS image sensors, and Tower Semiconductor, Ltd. (Nasdaq:TSEM) (TASE:TSEM), a leading global specialty foundry, today announced production of Panavision's family of DLIS-2K re-configurable line scan CMOS image sensors. The DLIS-2K sensors were developed using Tower's Advanced Photo Diode (APD) pixel process and pixel IP with Panavision's patented Imager Architecture. These re-configurable linear image sensors offer high performance at a low cost and combine high sensitivity, high speed, and versatility to address many applications in consumer, industrial, automotive, and scientific markets.

According to a report from Global Industry Analysts Inc., the value of the world image sensors market is expected to rise to $11.7 billion by 2012. Overall, image sensors have expanding applications in consumer electronics such as camcorders, security and computer cameras, and portable communications devices, and in the industrial and business sector, in areas such as biometrics, machine vision, broadcasting, film cameras and medicine. In the automotive industry, there is increased demand for angular rate, occupancy seat and cruise control sensors, lane deviation systems and rear-view cameras.

The DLIS-2K Imager is a Quad Line Sensor with 11 bit A/D, High Dynamic Range, and Correlated Multi-Sampling (CMS) for Enhanced Sensitivity. The sensors are used in Spectroscopy, barcode, touch screen, OCR, machine vision, measurement, and other applications. The patented technological advances in these products allow for flexibility in image collection and readout, including: ambient light subtraction, oversampling, non-destructive read mode, binning of different integrations, auto-thresholding and a high resolution mode with an unprecedented 120 MHz pixel readout.

The DLIS sensors have ambient light subtraction in combination with up to 12-bit digitization and auto-thresholding. This provides a simple binary output on chip, allowing removal of many of the system components for barcode, touchscreen or any application that needs to locate a position or a centroid. The user can also input an analog signal that the application may need to have digitized. The operation modes can be mixed or matched and with four rows of pixels the possible combinations allow for an optimal solution for many different applications.

"Our goal is to address the expanding bar code and touch screen markets with a programmable image sensor at a highly competitive price point. Tower's CMOS Image Sensor technology and manufacturing capabilities are world-class and the close interaction between our design team and Tower's engineers helped us to achieve quick ramp to production," said Jeffrey Zarnowski, CTO for Panavision Imaging LLC.

"We are pleased that Panavision's family of linear image sensors is in production as these products will greatly advance the capabilities of a myriad of devices in various markets. By combining our Advanced Photo Diode (APD) pixel process and pixel IP with Panavision's patented Imager Architecture, we have enabled imaging characteristics previously not attainable in linear imagers," said Dr. Avi Strum, Vice President and General Manager of Tower's Specialty Business Unit at Tower Semiconductor.

Utilizing Tower's 0.18 µm technology allows for on-chip, bit-selectable, ADC as well as higher data transfer rates versus prior products. Tower's APD process and pixel IP exhibit improved charge transfer characteristics for a higher sensitivity over standard photodiodes. The combination of Tower's technology and Panavision Imaging architecture enables a 4 x 32 micron pixel with sensitivity exceeding 100 V/Lux.Sec.

About Panavision Imaging
Based in Homer, NY, Panavision Imaging, LLC is a pioneering innovator and developer of high performance CMOS image sensors and related technology. The company's products are based on several patented and patent pending technologies including Active Column Sensor (ACS), XtremePIX, D/AD and others. Offering sensors in 2D array, line scan and custom, their products are found in many low to high-end imaging applications, serving the consumer, commercial, scientific and industrial markets. For more information and a data sheet, please visit www.panavisionimaging.com.

About Tower Semiconductor
Tower Semiconductor Ltd. (NASDAQ:TSEM) (TASE:TSEM), a global specialty foundry leader, manufactures integrated circuits with geometries ranging from 1.0 to 0.13-micron and provides complementary technical services and design support. Tower, along with its fully owned U.S. subsidiary, Jazz Semiconductor, Inc., offers a broad range of process technologies including Digital, Mixed-Signal and RFCMOS, HV CMOS, Power Management, Non-Volatile Memory (NVM), Embedded NVM, MEMS, and CMOS Image Sensors. Tower provides world-class customer service and maintains two fabrication facilities in Israel and a fab in Newport Beach, CA, with manufacturing capacity available in China through partnerships with ASMC and HHNEC.

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