SAN FRANCISCO Giga Scale Integration Corp. plans to begin offering a new upgrade for its InCyte chip estimation tool Monday (June 6), a feature that the company says is the first comprehensive IC economic analysis engine.
The economic analysis engine is designed to take a high-level design specification at the architectural level and provide a complete IC budgetary quotation and final chip cost.
According to Adam Traidman, Giga Scale president, the economic analysis engine takes InCytewhich provides designers with pre-RTL technical estimations of die size, power and leakagea step further by providing information about the economic viability of a design. This economic information includes yielded silicon die cost, test and assembly costs and non-recurring engineering costs like photomasks, engineering, manufacturing tools and intellectual property (IP).
The economic analysis engine even provides recommendations for IC packages and costs and can analyze the return on investment for a chip across its entire product lifecycle, taking into account increasing yields and decreasing wafer and packaging costs over time, he said.
"To be able to get these estimates so early in the design flow is worth a lot," Traidman said. "It allows designers to see how making tradeoffs would technically and economically impact the final result before committing any engineering resources to implementation."
Beginning Monday, the economic analysis feature can be downloaded from ChipEstimate.com,
the Web site started by Giga Scale in February as a way to increase the market proliferation of InCyte. The new feature will also be available Monday to Giga Scale's enterprise customers, primarily large integrated device manufacturers (IDMs), foundries and ASIC suppliers.
The Giga Scale (Cupertino, Calif.) business model is to provide a time-unlimited, "generic" version of its InCyte tool free of charge through ChipEstimate.com, and then charge users for upgrades. Pricing for the economic analysis upgrade starts at $2,000 per month.
InCyte comes bundled with industry average silicon wafer pricing, defect density, package and test/assembly data to support accurate forecasting of total IC cost. Traidman said that this information would be updated at least once per quarter, and that InCyte customers who have purchased upgrades will have access to the updated information automatically. He added that this information is customizable for large enterprise customers that want to use their own data, rather than industry averages.
Traidman said customer response since the introduction of ChipEstimate.com has dramatically exceeded Giga Scale's expectations. The company internally forecast it would have about 150 InCyte users by the end of the first quarter. Instead, it got more than 1,000. Today, Traidman said, there are nearly 1,400, mostly from fabless semiconductor companies, design service firms and IDMs.
"There has been a great response from the community," Traidman said. "We are happy that we have validated the need for a commercial tool in this part of the market. The EDA industry just hasn't served this part of the market and we are the first to go about doing it."