Monday, May 15, 2006

Semi Business is too good? Allocation, here we come!

The headline - TSMC puts customers on allocation certainly caught my eye and made me think of the good ol' days.

But reading the fine print, this is only for older geometries, i.e., 0.18 and 0.25 micron. Even though there ought to be lots of "second-tier" fabs with capacity, especially in China, the article explains that it's difficult to port mixed-signal design from one process to another. Once you go to production with a particular foundry on these types of "touchy" designs, you are in bed with that foundry for a long time!

TSMC DFM format empowers fabless design

Good news! Fabless semiconductor vendors (e.g., NVDA, BRCM, etc.) won't be up a creek in getting yields at 65nm and below: - TSMC DFM format empowers fabless design

If this works as advertised, this collaboration will enable TSMC + EDA vendors to work like an Integrated Device Manufacturer (IDM), and not suffer from walls and insufficient information sharing.

I'm looking forward to the TSMC Technology Symposium, which is always good for seeing how the foundry world operates, and what interesting issues they address that we seldom hear about in the "front-end" design world.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Startups to watch

This is an intriguing list of startups, though the selection criteria is rather mysterious. Reviewing it gives you a feel for what's coming and what's hot in our industry. I spotted a few EDA companies, several in the "DFM" space and at least one related to "ESL" design.

"editors have selected companies based on a mix of criteria including: technology, intended market, maturity, financial position and investment profile.

Startups on the Silicon 60 list include companies involved in semiconductor chips, memory, fab equipment, packaging, foundry, materials, MEMS and EDA software that made an impression on EE Times editors. They are emerging companies to watch for a wide variety of reasons. - EE Times updates list of emerging startups