Tom Quan joined TSMC in 2007 as deputy director of design methodology and service marketing. Currently he is the director of Open Innovation Platform® Marketing. Prior to joining TSMC, he was vice president of marketing at Applied Wave Research, Inc. and has held several senior management … More »
TSMC Ecosystem Moving Online
June 13th, 2013 by Tom Quan
There has been a great proliferation in the quantity and quality of online resources for IC designers over the past two decades. This expanding set of options benefits both the designers and ecosystem partners such as foundries, tool vendors and IP suppliers.
For intellectual property (IP), multiple established sites deliver IP cataloging, news, planning and aggregation, and consulting. These useful services come from established providers like ChipEstimate, Design & Reuse, and Silicon-IP. Providing fast access to detailed information on thousands of IP alternatives helps build the market for IP innovators while providing designers with myriad technology solutions.
Web-based EDA solutions are also becoming more mainstream. Many are ideally suited to the advantages that only online resources can deliver. Examples include Cadence’s hosted design solution, Mentor’s thermal analysis, Synopsys’ logic verification and Nimbic’s electromagnetic analysis. With seemingly unlimited compute power residing “in the cloud,” designers can have on-demand access to these types of scalable tools, eliminating constraints on their productivity.
On the foundry side, TSMC-Online was the first effective, efficient and secure e-commerce business platform, providing customers with comprehensive, 24/7 information – from technology selection to post-sales services – supported by comprehensive databases. TSMC’s reputation for world-class security is maintained online where customer confidence is paramount. Rigorous standards protect the customer’s IP, giving them the confidence to freely interact while using their secure account.
Within this site, customer support comes in the form of the company’s newly upgraded Design Portal 3.0. A streamlined interface guides designers through process selection, then matches them with over 5,500 titles in TSMC libraries and third-party IP. Libraries are displayed in detail with accompanying online documentation and TSMC-9000 library and IP quality management program compliance status.
Design package search has been simplified to show data according to user-selected geometries that quickly narrow the list of possibilities. A key word search feature has also been added, so design documents can be quickly found at any time.
The site provides simplified access to DFM Data Kits (DDKs) for users and IP partners. DDKs are automatically aligned with mapped DRM documents and unwanted DDK search results are filtered out, resulting in a concise and accurate document list to optimize DFM results and improve time-to-market.
A Specialty Technology Design Package has been added, making the latest process and library information easier to access and more accurate than ever before. Processes covered in the upgrade are CIS, BCD, Embedded Flash, HVCMOS-Analog, HVCMOS-FMIC, HVCMOS-Driver, UHV and MEMS. Design package information is now displayed in a simplified menu tree for fast information access. Specialty technologies are shown as a group so users do not have to sift through unnecessary information; they can just click on the technology they are interested in.
The expansion of online services for designers will bring many desirable benefits. It will increase collaboration within organizations by making identical resources available for global teams. This transition will also shake up traditional business models in our industry, as it has in so many others. For instance, online trials and tutorials could turn tire kickers into adherents for startups that can’t afford direct sales. Most important for designers, though, is the scalability of tools and compute power, combined with greatly expanded access to design ecosystem resources. These innovations will result in enormous productivity gains, enabling teams to tackler larger, more complex designs in the future.