10/4/2002 - IBM and MOSIS announced the expansion of an initiative to assist emerging companies and universities in developing innovative chip designs.
Specifically, IBM plans to offer MOSIS access to CMOS technologies including IBM's 0.13- and 0.18-micron production processes that feature IBM's copper-wire technology, which MOSIS will integrate into its Multi-Project Wafer (MPW) services. In addition, IBM plans to offer MOSIS access to IBM's 0.25-micron CMOS production process enhanced for radio frequency applications. Low-volume production is also planned to be offered through MPW services. IBM's silicon germanium (SiGe) technology, that has been a part of MPW services from MOSIS since inception, is still available.
MOSIS is a low-cost prototyping and small-volume production service for VLSI circuit development. Since 1981, MOSIS has fabricated more than 50,000 circuit designs for commercial firms, government agencies, and research and educational institutions around the world.
"IBM has a comprehensive suite of foundry services for a wide range of industry-standard technologies, including all the latest semiconductor production processes," said Kenneth Torino, director of foundry products, IBM Microelectronics. "Through the MPW initiative, the community of talented chip designers who normally would not have an opportunity to have their chips manufactured using IBM process technologies can tap into our expertise."
IBM's MPW initiative is intended to help small, innovative organizations design and prototype high-performance chips at a lower cost. Currently, many of these advanced chip designs don't move from the "lab to the fab" because their limited quantity makes it economically impractical to manufacture them. To solve this problem IBM entered into an agreement in March 2001 to provide SiGe wafer manufacturing services to MOSIS, an independent prototyping and low-volume production service organization that offers a single interface for companies and universities who want to share overhead costs associated with the development and production of microchips. Since MPW services started, more than 150 customers have accessed IBM SiGe technology via MOSIS.
Under the MPW initiative, customers share development and manufacturing expenses by submitting separate chip designs for consolidation and manufacture together on a single wafer. MOSIS will contract directly with customers to integrate multiple chip designs onto a single mask set and arrange for prototype production of the chips at IBM's chip-making facility in Burlington, VT.
"IBM is showing great vision in providing access to its processes, not only for prototypes, but also for low volume production," said Wes Hansford, MOSIS deputy director. "This program can also provide MOSIS customers with a smooth transition to large volume production as needed."
About IBM Microelectronics
IBM Microelectronics is a key contributor to IBM's role as the world's premier information technology supplier. IBM Microelectronics develops, manufactures and markets state-of-the-art semiconductor and interconnect technologies, products and services. Its superior integrated solutions can be found in many of the world's best-known electronic brands.
MOSIS, founded in 1981 and originally funded by DARPA, has moved into commercial, research and consumer markets. Benefiting the most from this prototyping process is the customer. Once prototyping is complete and the design is ready for dedicated fabrication, the customer goes directly to the foundry. The parts, already fabricated and tested in the prototyping stage, are now ready for full production. This streamlined development saves resources and time, accelerating the product's time to market.
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