There were several categories of exhibitors at GlobalFoundries? GTC 2010. Assembly and Test had the lowest turnout with only three exhibits, Design Services had five companies, EDA Tools had a large representation in nine booths, while IP Partners drew 15 booths. There were three representatives of Mask, and Community Partners rounded out the booths to peruse.
There were many similarities within the technical categories. It was somewhat like going to the Auto Mall: you can choose a Chevy or a Lexus, but they all are cars with wheels, windows that roll up and down, and an engine that makes them go. There is also quite a bit of overlap between categories.
Under Assembly and Test, you find manufacturing, package design, wafer bumping, and probe, offered by Amkor Technology, ASE Group, and STATSChipPAC. Wafer bumping interconnects solder "bumps" or "balls" on an entire wafer prior to dicing. The use of wafer bumping is dependent on the need for performance, form factor or array interconnect requirements, with technical and cost advantages over traditional single-die packaging.
STATSChipPAC locations span Asia, focusing on embedded wafer-level ball grid array [eWLB] technology and boasting that they were the first to implement 300nm eWLB reconstituted wafer manufacturing technology and the first to manufacture second generation with side by side devices embedded in a package and ultra thin eWLB. The company states they have invested over $100 million in the latest technology which they jointly developed with Infineon Technologies AG and STMicroelectronics.
Packaging runs from leaded, laminate, and memory cards, to 3D. Advanced packages include flip chip, where the silicon die is directly attached to the substrate using solder bumps instead of wire bonds. Stacked die [SD], System-in-Package [SiP], ball grid array [BGA] and wafer level chip scale round out packaging choices.
Design Services involve ASIC design and IP solutions. Services combine clocking, IP integration, and performance requirements. Devices that benefit run the gamut from set top boxes, mobile internet devices, cellular phones, Blu-ray DVD players, to HDTV?s.
The next category, Electronic Design Automation [EDA] Tools, helps achieve short design cycle times, reduce chip development costs, improve productivity, and provide high yield for integrated circuits with advanced process technologies from prototyping to package delivery.
Helic, headquartered in San Francisco, with two R&D centers in Greece, and a sales office in Japan, provides EDA software tools and semiconductor IP. They emphasize increased levels of miniaturization for semiconductor-based wireless and broadband systems. Helic specializes in rapid electromagnetics modeling and high frequency synthesis and extraction / verification technologies.
Their Veloce suite includes VeloceRF, inductance-aware RFIC and system-in-package design; VeloceWired, bondwire design and extraction for high speed IC packages; and VeloceRaptor, a vector-based inductance modeling engine that powers VeloceRaptor/X a RLCK extraction tool that can be integrated in any custom layout system avoiding adoption barriers.
IP Partners handle the important intellectual property aspects of chip design and manufacture. Denali Software, a recent Cadence acquisition, claims to deliver the most trusted solutions for deploying PCI Express, NAND Flash and DDR DRAM subsystems. Catena is an independent design house that focuses on System and IC development for communication applications, including WCDMA, WLAN, Bluetooth, GPS, satellite receivers, FM and TV tuners, and medical electronics. Their four design centers are rather uncommonly located in the Netherlands, Sweden, and Austria.
eMemory is another Asian-based company that comes from Taiwan?s Hsinchu Science Park. They provide IP for programmable non-volatile memory [NVM] devices. Their solutions include Neobit, a one-time/multiple-time programmable logic device for program code storage in micro controllers, data storage in IC cards, encryption storage for security, and can be used as a replacement for ROM and EPROM. NeoFlash is a true logic based single poly embedded Flash that is simple and comes at low cost. It uses hot electron injection enabling fast programming and channel FN operation for uniform erasing.
Photomasks are high precision quartz plates that contain microscopic images of electronic circuits. They are used to transfer circuit patterns onto semiconductor wafers and flat panel substrates. Photronics, based in Connecticut in the US, has an impressive history beginning in 1969. Through IPO and acquisitions, in Texas, Colorado, California, and Switzerland, and manufacturing facilities in Europe and Asia, the company now spans the globe. Its nanoFab manufacturing facility is in the unlikely location of Boise, Idaho. The company strives to meet the mask manufacturing challenges of line edge roughness, image fidelity, resolution and throughput with stringent CD, image placement, and effect control.
Finally, the Community category includes the Global Semiconductor Alliance [GSA], serving as the voice of the semiconductor industry, attempting to foster a more effective fabless ecosystem through collaboration ? the theme of GTC 2010 ? integration, and innovation, with 400+ members. The RTC Group is a global provider of turnkey marketing and sales solutions. They produce industry events, and specialize in matching vendors with buyers.
Two organizations, the Saratoga Economic Development Corporation and the Center for Economic Growth scored a win when GlobalFoundries chose to build Fab 8 in their front yard. Together, they promise resources and site selection for any other technolog
y company that wants to follow suit.