Understanding Fabless IC Technology

Understanding Fabless IC Technology

1st Edition - August 14, 2007

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  • Authors: Jeorge Hurtarte, Evert Wolsheimer, Lisa Tafoya
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080551197

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Fabless (no fabrication) IC (integrated circuit) techniques are growing rapidly and promise to become the standard method of IC manufacturing in the near future, this book will provide readers with what will soon be required knowledge of the subject. Other books on IC fabrication deal with the strictly physical process aspects of the topic and assume all factors in IC fabrication are under the control of the IC designing company. By contrast, this title recognizing that fabless IC design is often as much about managing business relationships as it is about physical processes. “Fabless” ICs are those designed and marketed by one company but actually manufactured by another.

Key Features

*Written by board members of the Fabless Semiconductor Association, an industry consortium that include Xilinx, Intersil, Micro Linear, and many other members
*Approriate for a wide range of integrated circuit (IC) designers and users who need to understand the fabless process and its advantages/limitations
*Discusses important topics such as negotiating with outside fabrication companies, choosing the right electronic design tools, protection of intellectual property and business plans, and maintaining quality control


IC engineers, design engineers (analog and digital), engineering management.

Table of Contents

  • PART 1 – Manufacturing Strategies: Understanding Fabless IC Technology

    Chapter 1: More than a Decade of Transition in the Semiconductor Industry
    1.1 FSA is Established
    1.2 Early Success
    1.3 Early Success Trend Continues
    1.4 Semiconductor Business Models
    1.5 Outsourcing Will Accelerate
    1.6 IDMs are Going Fabless
    1.7 A Case Study: Cypress Semiconductor
    1.8 More IDMs are Outsourcing
    1.9 Geographic Manufacturing Centers

    Chapter 2: Fabless Semiconductor Manufacturing
    2.1 Foundry Revenue Growth
    2.2 Semiconductor Back-End Services
    2.3 Semiconductor Equipment

    Chapter 3: Qualities of Successful Fabless Companies
    3.1 Defining Events for the Fabless Market
    3.2 Thriving in the Fabless Model
    3.3 Key Qualities for Success
    3.4 The Future of Fabless

    PART 2 – An In-Depth Understanding of the Fabless Semiconductor Business Model

    Chapter 4: Semiconductor Manufacturing Basics
    4.1 Semiconductor Processes
    4.2 Semiconductor Manufacturing Steps
    4.3 Wafer Size
    4.4 Manufacturing Costs
    4.5 Conclusion

    Chapter 5: Fabless ASICs
    2.1 Introduction
    5.2 Origins of the ASIC Industry
    5.3 Emergence of the Fabless ASIC Business Model
    5.4 The Fabless ASIC Model: How It Works
    5.5 The Services and Capabilities of a Fabless ASIC Supplier
    5.6 Conclusion

    Chapter 6: Electronic Design Automation
    6.1 Fabless EDA Overview
    6.2 Fabless EDA Selection Process
    6.3 Physical Design EDA

    Chapter 7: Intellectual Property
    7.1 SIP Industry Overview
    7.2 SIP Business Environment
    7.3 Sourcing Industry Overview
    7.4 Baseline Terminology
    7.5 Finding SIP and Related Products
    7.6 Evaluating SIP Business Models
    7.7 SIP Product Enablers
    7.8 Examples by SIP Product Type
    7.9 Licensing SIP Products
    7.10 Provider and Buyer Perspectives
    7.11 The Evolution of the IP Industry
    7.12 Intellectual Property Considerations
    7.13 IP Outsourcing
    7.14 Making IP Work in the Fabless Semiconductor Community
    7.15 IP Acquisition Considerations for Fabless IC Companies

    Chapter 8: e- Commerce
    8.1 The Virtual Fab Challenge
    8.2 Semiconductor & Fabless Manufacturing: What is Different?
    8.3 “Build to Forecast” for Outsourced Manufacturing
    8.4 ERP System Solutions
    8.5 The Information Ecosystem: Where Communication is Key

    Chapter 9: Quality and Reliability
    9.1 General
    9.2 Front- End
    9.3 Back-End
    9.4 Environment, Health and Safety

    Chapter 10: Test Development
    10.1 Simplifying Outsourced Test Development
    10.2 Preparations
    10.3 Evaluation
    10.4 Conclusion

    PART 3 – Becoming a Best-in-Class Fabless Company

    Chapter 11: Best Practices for Fabless Companies
    11.1 Achieving Best-in-Class Operations Practices
    11.2 A Foundry Manager’s Role in a Fabless Company
    11.3 Closing the Loop: Understanding the Manufacturing Flow
    11.4 Managing a Virtual Manufacturing Chain

    Chapter 12: Building the Right Partnerships
    12.1 Suppliers are (Almost) Just as Important as Customers
    12.2 Operations in a Fabless Start-Up
    12.3 Legal Issues for Fabless Semiconductor Companies
    12.4 Semiconductor Back-End Subcontracting: No Longer a Zero-Sum Game

    Chapter 13: Building the Right Relationships with the board and VCs
    13.1 Creating Successful Corporate Boards in Fabless Companies
    13.2 Finding the Right VC

    PART 4- The Fabless Business Model: A Look into the Future

    Chapter 14: Perspectives in the Future of Fabless
    14.1 Keeping Up with the Pace of Change in a Fabless World
    14.2 Foundry Roadmaps: Partnering, Leading and Innovating
    14.3 Semiconductor Manufacturing in the 21st Century
    14.4 The Emerging Dominance of China in the Technology and End Markets

Product details

  • No. of pages: 296
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Newnes 2007
  • Published: August 14, 2007
  • Imprint: Newnes
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080551197

About the Authors

Jeorge Hurtarte

Evert Wolsheimer

Lisa Tafoya

Affiliations and Expertise

Fabless Semiconductor Association

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