SUNNYVALE, Calif.--Taiwan's United Microelectronics Corp. today claimed to be the first IC maker to publicly offer an online chip-size and cost estimation tool for designers using its wafer-processing foundry services. The Chipsizer comes from nTool Inc. of Fremont, Calif., and can be accessed on UMC's Web site at www.umc.com.
According to the Taiwan foundry company, project and marketing managers can work with their design teams to add and subtract product features and get instant feedback on the impact on product cost. "For the first time, everything needed for silicon estimation is available online through the convenience of a Web browser," said Ed Wan, vice president of field engineering at UMC USA in Sunnyvale.
The Chipsizer tool can be used by designers to change the pad pitch or replace inline I/Os with staggered I/O to see if that will reduce the die size and overall cost, said UMC, which is based in Hsinchu, Taiwan. Users can also add a layer of metal and see if the extra wafer cost will be offset by improved routing density, which can result in smaller die size. Designers can also use the online tool to estimate the impact of migrating chips from 0.18-micron to 0.15-micron technology, said UMC.