As complexity goes up with each new process node, so does the amount of data that is generated, from initial GDSII to photomasks, manufacturing, yield and post-silicon validation. But what happens to that data, and what gets shared, remain a point of contention among companies across the semiconductor ecosystem.
The problem is that to speed up the entire design through manufacturing process, more steps now need to done concurrently or in context of other steps and often in collaboration with other companies. Still, many of those companies see their slice of the data as competitive, based on a long history of jealously guarding intellectual property.
“The number one issue is data,” said Michael Campbell, senior vice president of engineering at Qualcomm. “The fab gives you a design deck. You have a library. You give them the fab tape and get back silicon, and then you ship out the customer spec. That has to change. A simplistic relationship does not work with 2 billion transistors. And with servers, you’re ultimately looking at 25 billion transistors.”
Campbell said foundries need to share more data with semiconductor companies so the entire manufacturing process can become more interactive. “This affects time to yield, time to manufacturing and time to quality. We have to have a partnership where yield means something. Right now the cost is too high.”Read more here
Article from Ed Spearling, Semiconductor Engineering