Start-ups to get silicon shuttle services

Service for budding Asian integrated circuit designers promises these companies lower costs and faster turnaround time.
Written by Sol E. Solomon, Contributor

The Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) and Fujitsu Microelectronics (FML) subsidiary, e-Shuttle Inc. (ESI), have signed an agreement to provide silicon shuttle services to Asian design start-ups aimed at lowering the barriers in the development of integrated circuits (IC).

The two parties hopes to aid Asia's semiconductor industry, by lowering the cost of prototyping ICs and reducing turnaround time, through ESI's proprietary Electron Beam Direct Writing (EBDW) technology.

Statutory body, HKSTP, will provide development support, including design tools, evaluation systems and a secured remote access design environment to the design houses. These start-ups can then send information such as timing and power data to ESI for prototyping using the EBDW technology.

IC designers further evaluate the design or product prototypes from ESI for recommendation to manufacturers. This process will allow even small and midsize design organizations to leverage leading prototyping technologies such as 65 nanometer at very low cost, the program's partners said in a press release.

HKSTP’s vice president for business development and technology support, S.W. Cheung, said in the release: "Our co-operation with e-Shuttle will enable us to provide small and medium-sized technology developers with access to the most advanced prototyping technologies and FML's superior wafer manufacturing."

The new partnership supports the rapid growth of Asia's semiconductor industry, and the shift of IC design from the United States and Europe to this region, the partners said.

HKSTP provides a one-stop service for IC development and offers technical support covering the entire process from design to production, backed by a team of experienced engineers.

ESI was founded by FML and Advantest in 2006 to develop EBDW technologies for 90-, 65- and 45-nanometer process technologies, and to establish and offer semiconductor prototyping services.

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