In order to maximize your return-on-investment for an IC development, the choice of fab process and fab partner are critical. The breadth of process costs and technologies has never been larger. This guide will outline the steps needed to make this critical decision for your product.
Content: Number of logic gates, major functional blocks defined, implementation details estimated
Identify needed functional blocks that may be available to buy as existing IP (intellectual property)
2. Process Options Collect information for process candidates that meet the business and technical requirements:
Wafer size, cost, and minimum lot size
Schedule from tape-in to finish of prototypes and production wafers
Minimum annual sales needed to meet the fab partner’s requirements
Availability of IP and tools support to meet your development team’s requirements
Mask set cost, multi-project wafer cost, and schedules
3. Making the choice Comparing process options
Calculate NRE (non-recurring engineering) costs for each viable process option: IP costs, development engineering, software, wafers, masks, production lot qualification. Assume a re-spin for both schedule and costs.