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Design costs for complex architectures reaching $100M

Posted: 23 Jun 2004 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:ic design? chip? protocol stacks? software programmability?

The overall development cost for a new chip architecture continues to skyrocket, with some next-generation designs are running $100 million each, according to a Texas Instruments Inc. executive.

Gene Frantz, Principal Fellow at TI, said it is somewhat misleading to say that overall IC design costs are running $20 million or more per product. In reality, total development cost for a new, complex chip architecture is running at about $100 million per product, Frantz said. Overall cost includes the design, user guides, support and other items, he said.

Frantz added there are vast changes taking place in terms of developing new chip architectures. So what's driving up overall IC design costs?

"The era of [instruction-set architectures] is over," Frantz said. "Innovation has left the silicon. The focus is what runs on top the silicon," he told Silicon Strategies at the 3i iSight Semiconductor Event on June 17, 2004. The event was co-sponsored by venture capital firm 3i Corp. and the Fabless Semiconductor Association.

The TI technologist was referring to the protocol stacks, software programmability and related functions, which have become key parts in overall chip design.

- Mark LaPedus

EE Times

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