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Presto inches closer to 'labless engineering' with Cypress deal

Posted: 25 Jul 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:labless engineering? manufacturing processes? Cypress deal?

Gearing towards "labless engineering," Presto Engineering Inc. has acquired a test facility from Cypress Semiconductor Corp., which will enable it to provide product-engineering services to Cypress and other IC manufacturers.

"We expect the industry to move toward labless product engineering in the same way it has moved to fabless manufacturing," Presto CEO Michel Villemain said in a statement.

Shrinking process windows and increasing interaction between design parameters and process performance have made the product release process more difficult and less predictable. Product engineering has developed into a complex discipline requiring specialized expertise in electrical test, physical analysis, manufacturing processes and design. Presto augments the expertise and advanced test and analysis capabilities that have historically been available in the central labs of the largest manufacturers. The focus is on improving the speed and predictability of products as they ramp up from design to manufacturing, according to the firm.

The first and most critical step in the product-engineering process is electrical testing to evaluate device performance and localize areas of concern for subsequent physical analysis, Villemain said. The acquisition of Cypress' facility "enhances our ability to support customers quickly and comprehensively," he said.

Presto provides a service called "design success analysis" that Villemain says complements manufacturers' internal engineering resources and improves the speed and predictability of product introductions. With the PrestoPE services package, Presto customers are charged a fixed project fee and pay only for successful projects, allowing simple up-front budgeting and guaranteed results. Registering a design at tapeout can save additional time by allowing advance preparation of test fixtures and procedures.

"The time it takes to go from first silicon to high-volume production can be the single most important determinant in the success of a new product," said Mike LaBouff, VP of engineering for Cypress. "Anything that enhances the speed and predictability of that process is extremely valuable. Presto's acquisition of our test floor gives us ready access to their extensive expertise and advanced analysis capabilities."

- Nicolas Mokhoff
EE Times

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