industry news
Subscribe Now

Closing the Communication Chasms in the SoC design and manufacturing supply chain

Reading, UK 10 May, 2022. As chip supply chains consist of a series of different subcontractors each independently doing a specific task, disconnects can easily happen between them. Sondrel calls these Communication Chasms and warns that they can cause issues that ripple through the rest of the chain adding delays and unexpected costs as stages have to be rescheduled.
Ian Walsh, Sondrel’s VP ASIC Business Development, explained; “Unless the handover between each stage is overseen by someone who really understand the whole process, it is all too easy for there to be a breakdown in communications as assumptions can be made by one or both subcontractors in the chain as to exactly what the status is at handover. In such a Communication Chasm, each will blame the other and the project stalls. With so many stages in a chip supply chain where this could happen many times, the whole project is subject to the risk of serious delays. And, as chips become ever more complex, this risk just increases.
“The overall budget of a new chip project of the type of complex, state-of-the-art SoCs that we specialise in can run into many millions of dollars so customers want to mitigate the risks as much as possible. That is why we offer a complete turnkey service from concept to shipping silicon so that there is no possibility of any Communication Chasms because we take total responsibility for the smooth running of every stage and every subcontractor in the chain. Any issues are spotted and corrective actions taken such as rescheduling tasks or even running some in parallel to keep the project on time which is easy to do when all the stages are being controlled by one company. We have perfected the skills of highly detailed, project management with our own sophisticated, interconnected work flows from all the hundreds of advanced chips that we have designed for customers and we now use these skills for the chip manufacturing chain.”
Sondrel often starts the chip project right at the concept planning stage, where the Power Performance Area (PPA), market requirements and final price point form the foundation for the project. The final price per unit is a key data point as it determines how to produce the chip, i.e., which process and technology node to use and the number of die per wafer that are required to obtain the per die cost. For example, there is no point using latest node to achieve a lower power consumption if the end price cannot support the higher cost of this technology.
Similarly, planning is done for stages further downstream such as the number, size and location of testing pads, the number of pins and what kind of packaging will be required. All too often the Design for Test and Design for Manufacture are not thought of by a pure Design Services company and, as a result, the largest Communication Chasm opens up between the Design company who hands over the GDSII to whoever is doing the actual chip testing and manufacture. For example, with testing, who better to design the test regime for the chip than the engineers who designed it and who better to fix any bugs that testing reveals. Having this the responsibility of one company such as Sondrel with a holistic overview, ensures smooth communication up and down the entire chain, mitigating risk for the customer for on budget and on time delivery.
About Sondrel
Founded in 2002, Sondrel is the trusted partner of choice for handling every stage of an IC’s creation. Its award-winning, define and design ASIC consulting capability is fully complemented by its turnkey services to transform designs into tested, volume-packaged silicon chips. This single point of contact for the entire supply chain process ensures low risk and faster times to market. Headquartered in the UK, Sondrel supports customers around the world via its offices in China, India, Morocco and North America. For more information, visit www.sondrel.com

Leave a Reply

featured blogs
May 19, 2022
The current challenge in custom/mixed-signal design is to have a fast and silicon-accurate methodology. In this blog series, we are exploring the Custom IC Design Flow and Methodology stages. This... ...
May 19, 2022
Learn about the AI chip design breakthroughs and case studies discussed at SNUG Silicon Valley 2022, including autonomous PPA optimization using DSO.ai. The post Key Highlights from SNUG 2022: AI Is Fast Forwarding Chip Design appeared first on From Silicon To Software....
May 12, 2022
By Shelly Stalnaker Every year, the editors of Elektronik in Germany compile a list of the most interesting and innovative… ...
Apr 29, 2022
What do you do if someone starts waving furiously at you, seemingly delighted to see you, but you fear they are being overenthusiastic?...

featured video

EdgeQ Creates Big Connections with a Small Chip

Sponsored by Cadence Design Systems

Find out how EdgeQ delivered the world’s first 5G base station on a chip using Cadence’s logic simulation, digital implementation, timing and power signoff, synthesis, and physical verification signoff tools.

Click here for more information

featured paper

Introducing new dynamic features for exterior automotive lights with DLP® technology

Sponsored by Texas Instruments

Exterior lighting, primarily used to illuminate ground areas near the vehicle door, can now be transformed into a projection system used for both vehicle communication and unique styling features. A small lighting module that utilizes automotive-grade digital micromirror devices, such as the DLP2021-Q1 or DLP3021-Q1, can display an endless number of patterns in any color imaginable as well as communicate warnings and alerts to drivers and other vehicles.

Click to read more

featured chalk talk

Har-Modular for PCB Connectivity

Sponsored by Mouser Electronics and HARTING

Did you know that you can create custom modular connector solutions from off the shelf components that are robust, save PCB space and are easy to assemble? In this episode of Chalk Talk, Amelia Dalton chats with Phill Shaw and Nazario Biala from HARTING about the Har-Modular PCB connector system that gives you over a billion combination possibilities for data, signal and power.

Click here for more information about HARTING har-modular PCB Connectors