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TI Gives Tour of Analog Fab Terrain

7/31/2013 10:40 AM EDT
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elctrnx_lyf
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Analog
elctrnx_lyf   7/31/2013 1:15:03 PM
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Analog world is much different compared to the digital. The products and fabs are more custom than the standard digital chips.

rick merritt
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Next up: Exar
rick merritt   7/31/2013 1:20:54 PM
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I talk with the CEO of Exar, a much smaller and fabless analog and mixed-signal company Thursday. Questions, anyone?

mcgrathdylan
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78 different process technologies?
mcgrathdylan   7/31/2013 2:02:36 PM
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TI currently supports about 78 different process technologies, more than 20 of them inherited with its 2011 acquisition of National Semiconductor. "It's a whole different world in logistical complexity," he said.


Wow. I for one find it kind of unbelievable that TI can support so many different process technologies. And I think Menon's quote, about being a whole different world in logistical complexity, has got to be an understatement. You would thing they would want to cut that number down just for complexity's sake.

truekop
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analog
truekop   7/31/2013 2:41:10 PM
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@Rick, Can such information be gathered about other Analog giants like ADI and Linear tech ? I suspect those companies will have as many or more proccess technologies. It will also be interesting to find out how many of these companies still engage in development of SiGe Bipolar/Bipolar process technologies crucial for RF and Microwave circuits.

Patk0317
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Analog and Moore's Law
Patk0317   7/31/2013 4:24:17 PM
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I agree with the statement - there is no Moore's law for analog. Smaller geometries do not necessarily benefit analog or mixed-signal devices. The issues created by shrinking an analog device often outweigh the benefits.

Patk0317
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Re: 78 different process technologies?
Patk0317   7/31/2013 4:28:36 PM
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"Wow. I for one find it kind of unbelievable that TI can support so many different process technologies."

 

I would say that that depends upon how different each process technology is. Is each of the 78 a totally seperate process, or an interation of an exisiting process? You figure they have 6 or 7 geometry nodes and then 10 different tweaks to a process on each node and probably some overlap between what TI and National processes that are more or less the same?

mcgrathdylan
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Re: 78 different process technologies?
mcgrathdylan   7/31/2013 6:04:41 PM
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That's a good point. Obviously each of the 78 are not completely different processes. There would be considerable overlap, I imagine. And of course, as you say, TI is working across a lot of different process geometries requiring different processes. Even so, 78 sounds like a lot.

Patk0317
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Re: 78 different process technologies?
Patk0317   7/31/2013 6:15:19 PM
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It does sound like a lot, too many to manage effectively really. But suppose I tell you I have 78 cents, but what I really have is two quarters, two dimes, a nickel, and three pennies. Technically I have 78 cents, but I only have 8 coins to carry around - much more managable than 78 which would likely put a hole in my pocket ;<)

rick merritt
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Re: 78 different process technologies?
rick merritt   7/31/2013 9:42:02 PM
I forgot to add to the story this comment from Menon:

"We have four major process platforms--high speed, high precision, high power and high density."

The 78 flavors--like Baskin Robbins--I assume are specific optimizations from these four.

rick merritt
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Re: analog
rick merritt   7/31/2013 9:45:50 PM
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@truecop: The Maxim interview inspired me to talk to these TI guys, but I am not sure how useful this particular story is in getting out fresh info.

I am up for talking to Linear and etc about the topic more, but I guess I need some direction for what are valuable areas to explore.

So send me your questions, please. at rick.merritt@ubm.com

 

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