Bipolar ASIC Redesign

Teradyne faced a critical challenge when they discovered they had less than a 7-month supply of a crucial bipolar ASIC chip used in one of their production testers. Despite having paid for a redesign by a large domestic semiconductor firm, the new design did not function properly in their system. Complicating matters, Teradyne lacked a schematic or spice models of the original part and had limited knowledge of the manufacturing process. However, they possessed the mask database, prompting iSine to embark on a global search for a semiconductor fab capable of producing a bipolar chip similar to the obsolete one.

After an exhaustive search, industrial iSine engineers identified a semiconductor fab in Europe that utilized a related process as the original. With an incredibly short turnaround of less than four months, iSine converted the mask database into a new design complying with the rules of the new fab.

The result was a high-performance bipolar chip completed in record time, and remarkably, it worked flawlessly in the first silicon iteration. This new chip served as a direct replacement for the obsolete part, averting a potential production line shutdown for Teradyne’s best-selling tester and showcasing the effectiveness of fabless production in a rapidly evolving 0.35µm technology landscape.