Alchip Ups makes investments in backend engineering
Taipei, Taiwan, December 16, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Taipei, Taiwan, December 14, 2021 – Recent demands for more sophisticated differentiation of high performance backend ASICs through the implementation of packaging and testing has driven Alchip Technologies, Ltd. to concentrate its investments on engineering resources which emphasize this capacity for critical innovation. The company consolidated its advanced packaging engineering services to more effectively integrate these capabilities into the manufacturing value chain.
The increased focus is adapting to an emerging trend for hyperscalers and OEMs to rely heavily on front-end integrated circuit design, bringing together large teams of chip design engineers to create highly customized silicon. They then partner with high-performance ASIC companies that can provide reticle-sized FinFET expertise to create further differentiation through backend performance differentiation.
One of the results of this trend is the emergence of several different customer engagement points. Commitment is now determined by the proportion of chip and overall design IP implemented by the customer versus that implemented by the ASIC partner.
By continuously focusing on front-end design, Alchip responds to growing market demand by focusing on advanced packaging and product manufacturing as separate resources in the value chain.
Over the past nine months, the company has seen an exponential increase in these post-GDSII assignments across all high performance computing ASIC applications. The company’s most recent activity has generated a track record of over 470 backend tape releases and billions of devices now going out of production.
“Hyperscalers today invest heavily in the initial design to create differentiation. Therefore, they are looking for ASIC companies that can provide the backend capabilities to maximize their investment in a differentiated front end design with equally innovative backend differentiation. These formerly pedestrian-only practices are now popular for harnessing the last bit of performance and surface power, ”observes Johnny Shen, President and CEO of Alchip Technologies.
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Backend Keys Last Mile Success
Alchip’s post-GDSII services are in high demand as system OEMs and hyperscalers face both technological challenges and engineering talent limitations associated with traditional backend services.
Sophisticated high-performance front-end design resources are expensive and, depending on geographic location, somewhat scarce. The result is a slight increase in companies that outsource packaging, testing and production responsibilities to ASIC companies that are much more experienced in these strategic areas.
Alchip has elevated its Advanced Package Engineering (APE) capabilities to include Chip-on-Wafer-on-Substrate (CoWoS®) and InFO, originally developed by TSMC. Alchip’s CoWoS process runs on dedicated tooling and demonstrates IP performance equivalent to that of an original design. The process also includes online debugging and active thermal control. The company’s in-house substrate design and testing capabilities ensure compliance with all system requirements and set the framework for the critical test flow from foundry to completion.
To ensure the quality required for complete physical designs, the company implements two approval verification options to account for both design economy and improved performance targets. The standard approval verification option includes DRC / LVS / ERC checks that protect against fatal manufacturing errors. A second design option requires additional attention to electrical, DFT, STA and / or clock verification, depending on specific customer requirements.
“Our key to success is knowing how to target cutting edge technology so that we can work with customers to develop a manufacturing protocol that is done ‘their way’ rather than a monolithic approach that is done our way.” explains Mr. Shen.
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Alchip Technologies Ltd, headquartered in Taipei, Taiwan, is a leading global provider of silicon design and production services for system companies developing complex and high volume ASICs and SoCs. The company was founded by semiconductor veterans of Silicon Valley and Japan in 2003, and provides faster, more cost-effective solutions for SoC design at the consumer and advanced levels, including 7nm processes. Customers include global leaders in AI, HPC / supercomputer, mobile phones, entertainment devices, networking equipment and other categories of electronic products. Alchip is listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE: 3661) and is a TSMC Certified Value Chain Aggregator.