Foundry and process in Corona Del Mar

Selecting a foundry can be a challenging and time consuming task, whether you’re involved in a new project startup or if you’re just migrating from a different supplier.

To make matters worse, if you do not have a basic knowledge of the foundry and processes, you might be left wondering, “Where do I start?” Advanced Architectures is here to help. We have many year of experience selecting the right foundry for the job. We are constantly monitoring what is going on in the industry and can usually point straight to the best supplier for the project in hand.

Just so you know, here is a simple four-step process that can help identify the right foundry'

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Step 1: Know your product

The first step in the process is all about knowing your product. The more knowledge and information you have about the silicon you are trying to purchase, the more productive you will be at narrowing down your list of prospective foundries.

One caution: Don’t treat this process as an afterthought. The earlier in the project you can begin the selection process, the better. Ideally, you should do so during the design and engineering phase of your project.

Answering the following questions will provide you with the basic information about your product and will allow you to move to the next step in the process.

  • Is this a new product or a part being transferred from an existing foundry process?
    • If it is transferred tooling, collect as much information as possible. Although you will have to re-engineer much of the tooling, libraries and design rules will be different there is still much information you can re-use and ensure that the new product will match the old product
  • What process geometry is needed?
    • Considerations here are focused on your product goals and a balance must be struck between NRE cost, product cost, performance and active and static power consumption.
    • What is the overall size of the expected design (i.e. what is the overall size of the design)
  • Will the resulting die when packaged fit your physical size requirements and will you be able to cool it?
  • Do you have 3D model(s) and/or drawing(s) of the package
  • Are there any specifications, whether they are internal or industry standards, that must be followed?
  • What are the estimated annual quantity(s) to be produced?
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Step 2: Identify your candidate foundries

The second step is to identify your candidate foundries. You can accomplish this via a web search. However, many foundry websites don’t contain enough information for you to make an informed decision. But you can still use it as a first-pass screen to identify foundries who are capable of making the type of cast materials you require.

Do not base your selection on the foundries’ websites alone, especially when trying to estimate scaling from one process to another, there are too many variables. It is very important to make personal connections with your prospective foundries. Pick up phone or email them directly.

Using your answers to the questions from Step 1, you can start to cut down your list of candidates. Foundries may have special processes and configurations to handle different requirements that aren’t listed on their websites. It doesn’t hurt to ask if they can accommodate something outside of their published specifications. If they can’t help you, they may be able to refer you to another foundry who can accommodate your needs.

Step 3: Client visits

The third step is to visit the candidates you have qualified. We understand that some companies may have small travel budgets. But an on-site visit is critical whenever you’re planning to onboard a major prospective supplier.

We are firm believers in the old saying, “Seeing is believing.” People can talk a good game and say they can do all kinds of things. But seeing their facility in action will help you determine if that’s just talk or if the foundry can actually deliver on its promises.

Contact Advanced Architectures

With over 25 years of experience in creating custom designs for a diverse clientele, we are here to help bring your vision to life. The selection of who gets to build your ASIC is crucial to your success. Get in touch with us today to find out more about our talented team, and to get a quote for your project.