Asic supplier and FPGA conversion specialist AMI Semiconductor has decided to go to an outside foundry to give it access to 0.25 and 0.18µm processes.
The company will use Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC) as its foundry and expects to start producing designs there by Q3. AMI will continue to handle the design and verification of each chip.
Glenn Fraser, AMI vice-president of marketing and business development, says the deal with TSMC will give his company access to deep submicron processes which it does not have in its own fabs.
The drive for the lower geometries is coming from customers who want to "convert from one of the advanced, high-density FPGAs to a small-geometry asic", he said.
The move follows LSI Logic's decision to outsource up to 30% of its production to TSMC in a technology-swap deal.